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Egungun Masquerade Garment

Yoruba people

Egungun, meaning "powers concealed," is a masquerade associated with the honoring of ancestors. It is an important link between the worlds of the living and the dead. The maskers appear at annual festivals and at funerals. Two of their responsibilities are to console loved ones and to mediate between the two worlds. There is also an element of entertainment and social commentary.

The masker is completely covered by layers of cloth panels. The inner part is constructed of local handmade cloth.  The outer panels, which are added every year, are usually made of expensive, imported textiles.

Object Information

Yoruba people
creation date
cotton, velvet
L: 64 in.
accession number
credit line
Peggy S. Gilfoy Memorial Fund
Textile and Fashion Arts