Mama , Objet art of the ethnic Mama - African-art.net
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Mama

The Mama live in Nigeria to the north of the Benue River.

The Mama are known for their zoomorphic crest masks, and in particular one that represents a buffalo.

These crest masks represent the bush spirits and their role is to bring prosperity to the tribe.

Mama sculptures are often covered with a thick red patina.

The Mama have succeeded in recreating the buffalo’s head in a simplified manner. They have kept only the most essential traits of the buffalo, coming close to abstraction, in order to represent this animal in a clear and obvious fashion. This crest is worn like a mask by the dancer, the latter disappearing under a huge costume made of vegetable fibres.

There are also standing statues, of which the head makes up the form of the crest.

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