Source: Exhibition Wall text, Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006
Among Yoruba peoples of Nigeria and the Republic of Benin, women are thought to possess enormous reserves of power stemming from their unique ability to give birth. Communities stage lavish masquerades to appease women and show them reverence in hope that the power of ”our mothers” will be directed toward community well-being. This mask was once worn in such a ceremony by a man impersonating a woman. Its serene and composed countenance is a hallmark of the Yoruba aesthetic.