We rarely know the names of past African artists, but Ali Amonikoyi is an exception, largely because he was a distinctive artistic innovator. He used metalworking techniques to make objects normally carved in wood and then used these objects in a nontraditional context. Moreover, he produced his works in proximity to colonial officials who observed and recorded his personal and artistic history.
Amonikoyi was a Yoruba born in Nigeria who migrated to Togo. There he used ancient brass-casting techniques to make mask forms resembling Yoruba gelede masks. These masks were placed on top of graves as memorials to the deceased, rather than being worn in dance performances.
- Artist: Ali Amonikoyi, Nigerian, 1880-1920
- Culture: Yoruba
- Medium: Copper alloy
- Possible Place Made: Kete Krachi, Volta Region, Ghana
- Dates: ca. 1910
- Dimensions: 10 1/2 x 7 1/4 x 5 1/2 in. (26.7 x 18.4 x 14.0 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:Arts of Africa
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 22.1692
- Credit Line: Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Ali Amonikoyi (Nigerian, 1880-1920). Mask, ca. 1910. Copper alloy, 10 1/2 x 7 1/4 x 5 1/2 in. (26.7 x 18.4 x 14.0 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.1692. Creative Commons-BY
- Catalogue Description: Mask of male face with beard, elaborate cap, pointed features. Condition: Good.
- Record Completeness: Best (87%)