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.