Olójú Foforo (The Owner of the Deep-Set Eyes), Mask Surmounted by a Figure of the Priestess of the Goddess Òsun Artist: Dàda, known as Aréó-ògún-yàn-ná of Òsi-Ìlọrin (Yorùbá, ca. 1880–1954)

early to mid-20th century

African Art

On view, 1st floor, African Art

This mask, called Oloju Foforo, meaning “the Owner of the Deep-Set Eyes,” was named in recognition of its features. This type of mask is unique to the Ekiti subgroup, appearing during the Ijeshu festival to honor the god and ancestor of the town of Osi-Ilorin. The carver of this mask, Areogun, was a master who passed his techniques on to his son, Bandele, along with his specialized tools. His full name, meaning “one who gets money with the tools of Ogun and spends it liberally,” was given to him in praise of his talent. Ogun is the god of those who use iron tools, whom Areogun honored with a shrine. The goddess Oshun reigns over the river at the town of Oshogbo.


Wood, pigment, string, and fiber


37 × 14 5/8 × 6 5/16 in. (93.98 × 37.1 × 16 cm)

Credit Line

Charles B. Benenson, B.A. 1933, Collection

Accession Number



20th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Photographed in Òsi, Kwara State, Nigeria, by William Buller Fagg (1914–1992), 1959. Charles B. Benenson (1913–2004, b.a. 1933), Greenwich, Conn., by 2004; bequeathed to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2004
  • James Green et al., Bámigbóyè: A Master Sculptor of the Yorùbá Tradition, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2022), 92–94, 226–27, fig. 60
  • Frederick John Lamp, Amanda Maples, and Laura M. Smalligan, Accumulating Histories: African Art from the Charles B. Benenson Collection at the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2012), 211, ill
  • Art for Yale: Collecting for a New Century, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2007), 176, pl. 159
  • "Acquisitions, July 1, 2005–June 30, 2006," in "Photography at Yale," special issue, Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2006), 222–23, ill
  • Frederick John Lamp, "Charles Benenson and His Legacy of African Art to Yale," in "Recent Acquisitions 2001–2003," special issue, Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2004), 31, ill
  • Kevin Carroll, Yoruba Religious Carving: Pagan and Christian Sculpture in Nigeria and Dahomey (London: Geoffrey Chapman Ltd., 1967), vii, 83, 163, fig. 66
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

figures (representations)


scepters women

Technical metadata and APIs


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