20th century
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Nigeria


40.64 cm (16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, pigment

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art



Masking forms were often exchanged and assimilated among the Igbo, Idoma, and their neighbors. Idoma mask identities also sometimes vacillated from village to village, the roles changing with each performance. This originally white-faced mask is notable for its near-perfect symmetry: matching keloids on the cheeks, a vertical forehead mark extending down the nose, and blackened lips outlining the teeth.


Bryce Holcombe (d. 1983), New York [see note]; February, 1989, sold by Pace Primitive and Ancient Art, New York, to William and Bertha Teel, Marblehead, MA; 1994, partial gift of William and Bertha Teel to the MFA; 2014, acquired fully with the bequest of William Teel to the MFA. (Accession Dates: January 26, 1994 and February 26, 2014)

NOTE: Holcombe was the director of Pace Primitive and Ancient Art until his death in 1983.

Credit Line

Gift of William E. and Bertha L. Teel