Odumado helmet mask given to Regis Archives & Special Collections


Elizabeth Bennett, owner of Africa Direct, has donated a large helmet mask to the African Art Collection in the Archives and Special Collections of the Dayton Memorial Library. The mask, called “Odumado” is made by the Igala tribe of Nigeria. It features 4 figures on top of a human head: a priest, a flute player, a woman, and a drummer. According to Niangi Batulukisi, the figures represent the original owners of the land. Odumado is worn during the New Yam Harvest celebration to honor the benefits given the community by these ancestral forces of the land. During a ceremony, the mask is worn by a male dancer, who looks through the eyes carved on the face. His body is covered with raffia, a dried grass, attached to the mask through holes carved into the collar of the mask.

The Archives and Special Collections is extremely appreciative of this generous donation by Elizabeth Bennett. Ms. Bennett is the mother of Sara Bennett, a senior at Regis College.

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