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Igbo Mask Cross River Red Paint African Art

$350.00
Product #: 76984
US Shipping: $29.98
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Title Igbo Mask Cross River Red Paint African Art
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Nigeria
People Igbo or other groups in Cross River Region
Materials Wood, pigment /paint
Approximate Age second half 20th century
Dimensions 13 inches x 8 inches
Overall Condition Good
Damage/Repair chips in places


Additional Information: This face mask with human features and black and red patina comes from an area of cross-cultural influences where groups such as the Igbo,  Ibibio, Ejagham, Efit, Mbembe share the same stylistic, formal conventions. This Mask presents details similar to that found in helmet and a few face masks from the people in this region. The hairstyle , and markings, the eyes, nose and mouth are close to that found on some Ejagham , Igala, and Idoma masks.


 This face mask comes from among the northern Igbo of Nigeria or perhaps the region of overlap where Igbo and Idoma people are in contact.  The Igbo people have numerous men’s dancing societies for which masks with a wide range of symbolism are worn. Among the Igbo a masquerader is known as mmonwu and masked dancers will have other names within local Igbo groups.  Masks and masquerades among the Igbo can at one time serve multiple and often simultaneous purposes. Some masks appear to initiate young boys into adult status and adult males into higher levels and status in the men’s society.  Beautifully carved masks will dance to honor the dead through masks that represent the beauty of young girls as spirit maidens. Because of its style and form this mask is located among the Northern Igbo and Idoma border where young men dance it to entertain and gain some financial reward.