Illustration principale
Ekoi crest
Cross-River region, Nigeria, 1800-1900
Human skull, hair, animal skin (antelope), earth, kaolin, rattan, wood, nail
Height : 20,5 cm

Provenance : Private collection, Spain
Alain Bovis, Paris

Publication : "Golgotha"
(M. Doustar, 2014), n°3

While the corpus of Ekoï crests made of a wood core is quite abundant, the numbers of those containing human skulls remains extremely limited. The first example was collected by Dr. Alfred Mansfeld in 1908 during his four-year stay in the Cross-River region. See Urwald Dokumente, Berlin, 1908, plates XVII-XVIII.
At the turn of the 20th century the trophy skulls of newly slain enemies were eventually replaced with wooden heads covered in leather, as attested by Percy A. Talbot in his book In the shadow of the Bush, 1912.
The Ekoï skull we have here certainly stands among the most spectacular and well-preserved. The Quai Branly Museum also owns two notable examples in its collections.
Price on request