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Container Bowl Water Spirit Cross River Nigeria African

Product #: 113784
US Shipping: $12.98
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Title Container Bowl Water Spirit Cross River Nigeria African
Country of Origin Nigeria.
People Ijo?
Materials Wood , paint
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 2.25 Inches
Width: 3.5 Inches
Depth: 12.25 Inches
Overall Condition Good: 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.

Additional Information: Believed to be a container from Nigeria if the form of a fish or water spirit.

The most well-known of the arts of the Ijo are the famed, abstract "water spirit" masks, which usually include a human-form face displayed amidst an array of references to important totem animals, like crocodiles and hippopotamus. Their masks are startling and fascinating, with levels of abstraction unique for an area known for the realistic depiction of the human form. Though their neighbors the Igbo craft similar water-spirit masks, the form certainly does not dominate their artistic output like it does the Ijo. Ijo water-spirit masks, usually worn on top of the head and extending horizontally, are used in a variety of functions, from ancestor worship, to religious and magical ceremonies. The realm of the water-spirits is important to the Ijo, who believe that is where both the unborn and the dead reside. They do use basic human forms, though these are found most-often on decorative panels instead of stand-alone statues. These panels serve a protective function wherever they are displayed. These are rare however, and found mostly in the western fringes of Ijo territory.

Recommended Reading:

For examples of other Cross River water spirit crocodiles, see WAYS OF THE RIVERS.