Igbo Mask

  • Product Code: IGB1-176
  • Dimensions: 6" x 21" x 9"
  • Availability: In Stock
  • USD $


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The 8,000,000 Igbo people live primarily from farming, and they are located in the northern part of the Niger River Delta in an area of forests and swamps in Nigeria. Village councils composed of the eldest people from each family govern the tribe. Their power is counter-balanced by secret societies. Igbo masks are numerous and are used for initiation ceremonies and entertainment. They all display a typical central crest and an elongated face. This mask appears to be a type that is worn and danced at okoroshi ceremonies, which involve religious rites for spirits or divinities of water (owu). During the rainy season all daily activities are interrupted for a month in order to celebrate the advent of the water spirits. Two groups of dancers face each other, one in white masks and costumes embodying the good spirits (okoroshioma, or "beautiful spirits"), the other with black faces representing evil spirits (okoroshiojo, or "malicious, dark spirits"). Given the infectious grin on this particular mask, one could safely assume that it depicts "okoroshioma" :-) -Bacquart -Hahner-Herzog, Kecskesi, Vajda

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