Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Yoruba (Nigeria), Egba Area, Abeokuta City-state
    Egungun Headdress with Large Ears
    Wood, pigment, metal
    Height: 15 ¼ inches Width: 9 ¼ inches Depth: 12 ¾ inches

    This is a domed-shaped mask with a flaring base for the attachment of a costume, and with large ears between which, at the front, sits a tension drum. The yellow-painted, black-bearded face has three vertical scars on the cheeks, and, arcing over the forehead, a row of medicine vials. At the rear a long-eared, long-tailed animal rides precariously, grasping the ears. Endless knots embellish the ears, on the insides of which Christian crosses atop, clerical hats are painted.

    This type of mask is called Egungun Erin. Erin, the word for elephant, refers to the greatly enlarged ears, and also to the wealth and prestige of the mask's owner, who must provide an expensive cloth costume with which this mask is danced.

    Egungun is the masking society that honors ancestors, guardians of community prosperity, fertility, and health, while the characters dancing are wildly varied, from all walks of life, including animals and foreigners.

    There are chips and abrasions across the back, with one loss at the base at the right edge of the beard. There is extensive insect damage at the center inside top.

    Provenance: H. Bruce Greene II and family, Naples, Florida

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    7th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,052

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold on Jun 7, 2007 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 17 days left to consign to the 2021 December 8 Nature & Science Signature® Auction !

    Learn about consigning with us

    I look forward to several future consignments with Heritage and with your continued guidance and expertise.
    William Levin, M.D.,
    Beverly Hills, CA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search