Lot: 6098th Auction
Anthropomorphic face mask
|Provenance||Size||Starting price / estimated price|
|Wolfgang Klein, Vienna, Austria
Zemanek-Münster, Würzburg, 9 March 2013, Lot 359
Werner Zintl, Worms, Germany
|H: 23.6 inch||This object is not available anymore.|
wood, polychrome paint, remains of fabric, mirror glass, metal,
Urhobo masks are associated with water and earth spirits who are responsible for the well-being of the community. Large mask festivals are held in their honour at intervals of several years.
This mask is associated with "ohworhu", a powerful water spirit ("edjorame"). There are different interpretations of its meaning:
The mask is referred to as one of the "children of the spirit" - "emedjo", who appear at times of the highest water level of the Niger to bring the "blessing of deep water" to the villages.
She is also supposed to represent a young girl of marriageable age, a bride "opha" who is under the special protection of "ohworhu". The hairstyle with horn-like extensions is meant to reflect the elaborate hairstyle that brides wear when they are presented to the village community.