X91.405 Horizontal mask

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Horizontal mask (Gugwom)
Montol peoples
Mid-20th century
Wood, camwood powder or ocher
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Peter J. Kuhn. X91.405

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This mask combines the human (domed head and incisions across the elongated mouth) and the crocodile (nodules atop the narrow mouth plates). The large round eyes and textured bands that would have had red abrus seeds pressed into gum are its humanizing aspects. The mask has a powdery red surface typical of masks and figurative sculpture from this northwestern Middle Benue area.

Source: Gallery Wall Text, Central Nigeria Unmasked: Arts of the Benue River Valley, 2011

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