back bounded-next cafe calendar-large calendar cart close coat-check collapse donate download elevators expand explore filter grid-view hamburger heart hours join link list-view location mail more next nursing-room phone print programs ramp restrooms right-arrow search share shop thumbs-down thumbs-up tickets up toilet heart-filled zoom Skip to Content

Janus-Faced Water Spirit Headdress

African Art

Search and Share Tools

Janus-Faced Water Spirit Headdress

Artwork Details


Yoruba Artist


Twentieth century


Wood and pigment

Accession #



17 1/2 x 14 x 14 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 403


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.


Gift of Bernard and Patricia Wagner

Image Copyright

Photographer: Richard Goodbody For Yoruba catalogue