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Ibibio Mask Smiling Red Face Male Figure Nigeria African Art

Product #: 88340
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Title Ibibio Mask Smiling Red Face Male Figure Nigeria African Art
Type of Object mask
Country of Origin Nigeria
People Ibibio
Materials wood, painting, cotton cloth
Approximate Age second half 20th century
Dimensions 22.5 inches H. x 9.5 inches W. x 5 inches D.
Overall Condition Fair to 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.
Damage/Repair figure with missing arms,

Additional Information: A beautiful mask with a smiling face painted in red. The mask is surmounted by a standing male figure. This  mask  may come  from the Ibibio people of southern coastal Nigeria. Between the Niger Delta River and Cross River regions of Nigeria a number of groups including the Igbo, Ibibio, Anang, Ijo and Ogoni live often times intermixing and exchanging artistic traditions, secret society masquerades and cultural patterns.The Ibibio live in a largely dense tropical forested area in small village groupings where they exercise social control through the activities of male secret society known as Ekpo. This secret society in based upon a cult of ancestors who advise, direct, and guide the Ibibio in all facets of their lives. Most of Ibibio masks  were danced by the exclusively male Ekpo Society especially by the members of the Idiong society (a diviner's society). They represent the dead, who are seen as wandering spirits that are potentially evil and have dark powers. Ibibio masks were worn for social control and to punish troublemakers and everyone who transgress social rules and traditions. They were also worn during numerous festivals to entertain the community. 

Recommended Reading

Blier's AFRICA'S CROSS RIVER."; Fagg, W. Nigerian Images. 1963.