Afikpo mask (Three quarters view)

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Item : Afikpo mask, Picture : Three quarters view (approx. 18 Kbytes)

This mask (called mma ji) 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 performed during the annual masked festival called okumkpa or okonkwo, and probably also for agricultural festivities and funerals ceremonies.
This mask is exceptional both because of its vigorous execution and its geometrical daring. The upper part would be the evocation of the « yam knife ». 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.

Object #5242

Origin :

Nigeria (Cross River area)

Type :

Masks and headdresses

Ethnic group :

Afikpo / Igbo (Ibo)

Material :

Wood, fine aged patina, vegetal fibers

Size :

H = 12.7 inches

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