Dance headdress

mid–20th century

Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum of Art

This complex headdress is carved in the form of an oche, or seat for the spirits, with several human and animal references. The spikes at the top and projections from the sides of the oche symbolize a dynamic state of being. The human faces may represent trophy heads, which for the Igbo connote achievement, and the birds may be messengers to the spirit world. The costume that was worn with this headdress and the context for the masquerade are not known.

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  • Title: Dance headdress
  • Date Created: mid–20th century
  • Physical Dimensions: 18 3/8 × 11 1/2 × 11 1/4 in. (46.67 × 29.21 × 28.58 cm) On mount: 26 1/2 × 11 1/2 × 11 1/4 in. (67.31 × 29.21 × 28.58 cm)
  • Type: Costume
  • External Link: https://www.dma.org/object/artwork/3298830/
  • Medium: Wood, paint, metal, and fiber
  • culture: Igbo peoples
  • Credit Line: Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.