This headdress was attached to the top of the wearer's head by its basketry base. Attached to this base is a cylindrical neck that supports two nearly identical female faces, which contain painted symbols from nsibidi, the ideographic language shared by several groups in the Cross River region. Each figure is also adorned with two antelope horns, which stick out from the coiffure, distinguished by its distinct color. The headdress was initially carved from a single block of wood, after which it is covered with the hide of an antelope and decorated with paint. According to Susan Vogel, 'Janus images […] are especially common in the Cross River area. They allude to the ability of masks to see hidden truths in this world and into the world beyond. They also combine male and female, whose complementary qualities, if merged, could attain perfection.' (Vogel, African Aesthetics, 1986, p. 106).
Vogel notes that 'this harmonious headdress is almost identical to one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, [inv. no. 1979.206.299] that is surely by the same hand [...]' (ibid., pp. 105-106).
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