Janus-Faced Water Spirit Headdress
This headdress is an example of the innovation, skill, and imagination of Yoruba artists of southwestern Nigeria. The large facial features are typical of Yoruba sculpture, with bulging eyes and triangular nose in high relief. However, the flat, disk-like face is unusual, contrasting with the typical rounded, fleshy forms of Yoruba sculpture. Masks such as this one perform in masquerade festivals in southern Yoruba and neighboring Ijebu communities to honor water spirits.