Afikpo mask (Three quarters view)
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Item : Afikpo mask, Picture : Three quarters view (approx. 15 Kbytes)


This mask was in use in the most important male secret society of the Afikpo, and took part in its initiation rituals. Spiritual incarnation of the god egebele, it danced during the annual masked festival called okumkpa or okonkwo, and probably also during funeral rites.
This mask is exceptional both because of its vigorous execution and its geometrical daring. The upper part should be the evocation of the « yam knife », and the perpendicular lower part of a weapon. The patina demonstrates clearly its great age and its ritual use. The great majority of these masks were destroyed at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century, during colonial conflicts and the conversion of the few remaining villages to Islam.
19th century or earlier.

Object #4301

Origin :

Nigeria (Cross River area, Uzouwani)

Type :

Masks and headdresses

Ethnic group :

Afikpo / Igbo (Ibo)

Material :

Wood, fine aged patina, natural pigments

Size :

H = 26.7 inches

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