The primary deaf artists in America again through the 1760s by the early 1800s have been often painting portraits of American settlers in an try to be acknowledged within the new world. Among the many Southern Igbo, the Ekpe society, introduced from the Cross River area, uses contrasting masks to signify the maiden spirit and the elephant spirit, the latter representing ugliness and aggression and the former representing magnificence and peacefulness.
Many subsequent presents have come to Princeton from alumnus Perry E. H. Smith ’57, including a remarkable Chokwe chair and Lega maskette, and from H. Kelly Rollings ‘forty eight, whose emblem of the Leopard Society is a stunning accumulative object from the Cross River area between Nigeria and Cameroon.
The acquisition in 2003 of a Yoruba stool with Esu iconography facilitated the expansion of the Museum’s Yoruba assortment, as did a pair of royal ibeji twin figures, a resplendent beaded king’s ritual tunic, and an Ifa divination bowl carved by the grasp sculptor Areogun of Osi-Ilorin.
Different important masks used in public ceremonies to make sure the passage of the deceased into the realm of the ancestors embody the kanaga mask, whose architectonic kind represents an array of ideas, animals, and the authority of God; and the satimbe mask, a rectangular face surmounted by the figure of a legendary and powerful woman.
The collection’s strengths embrace a group of steel and ivory objects from the traditional Kingdom of Benin in contemporary Nigeria (1500-1897) and quite a few masks and figures in varied media from completely different peoples within the Democratic Republic of the Congo.