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Igbo Headcrest Mask Okoroshi Congo African Art

Product #: 113515
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Title Igbo Headcrest Mask Okoroshi Congo African Art
Type of Object Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture
Country of Origin Democractic Republic of Congo
People Igbo
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age early 20th Century
Dimensions Height: 30.5 Inches
Width: 9 Inches
Depth: 11 Inches
Overall Condition Fair. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Cracks and chips

Additional Information: A headcrest mask with impressive carved details such as the raised markings on temples help identify this sculpture with the Igbo people from Nigeria.

This mask was part of a previous collection, from Tennessee, however we do not have further information on its provinance. 

The Igbo people have produced a multitude of masks. Each area has its own typology of masks. The present mask seems to come from the southwestern Igbo and is referred to as Okoroshi (water spirit). The beautiful women are called Okoroshi Oma. They resemble the maiden masks (Agbogbo Mmuo), which embody the feminine ideals , the beauty and grace, and serve positive and protective roles. The representation of horns on the tip of this mask is quite unusual as decoration on this type of mask and recall certain Idoma masks of Okua type used at funerals.

Among the Igbo, Okoroshi water spirits masks would dance each year during the peak of the rainy season. Several southeastern Igbo groups stop regular activities for a full month to celebrate the time when water spirits descend from their homes in the clouds to dwell and cavort with human beings. These spirits materialize as masqueraders, who dance and strut and flog people in the villages. The white faced masks are female, and are kind. Their darker and uglier male counterparts are mischief makers. The ceremonies are believed to have been brought by a woman, but women are not allowed to participate. For much more information, and excellent pictures, see IGBO ARTS by Cole and Aniakor.