The Goemai are located in the Shendam, Gerkawa, and Namu districts in the Plateau State of Nigeria. They are closely related to the Jukun, who live south of them, and the Ngas, who are located north of them. The Goemai are farmers and live in round, mud-walled huts grouped into enclosed family compounds (villages). The Goemai are almost completely ethnic religionists whose beliefs are manifested in most aspects of their daily lives. They believe in a supreme god and a household god (the god of their particular compound). Divination and cults centering around ancestral spirits and rain, among others, are practiced. A highly abstract carved headdress with matte patina and reddish pigment. Oval mask form without any recognizable facial features, decorated on the top with triangle-shaped holes. According to early research, this kind of abstract dance headdress represents a human head. An extremely rare object with a great “modern art” impression.
H: 49 cm (approx. 1’ 7”) L: 24.5 cm (approx. 10”)
Estimated age: 19th century
Published: “Vaca Bruto” Taureaux D’Afrique Noire, Musee des Cultures Taurines, p. 121
Provenance: Formerly part of the Serge Trullu Collection; formerly part of a German collection; Austria private collection