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Arts of Africa

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.

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
    CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Mask of male face with beard, elaborate cap, pointed features. Condition: Good.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    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 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 22.1692_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 22.1692_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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