African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Anang mask
Anang Idiok ekpo mask (N° 18382)
Mask of illness, possible evocation of a pathology related to the swampy environment in which the Anang of the Cross River reside. The latter would be related to the neighboring Ibibios who use idiok masks of the same type. These carved skull-like faces reflect a dangerous spirit.
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Abrasions, dry patina.
The Ibibios are a West African people, mostly found in southeastern Nigeria (Akwa Ibom State), but also in Ghana, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.
Secret societies are numerous among the Ibibio, who live west of the Cross River. Without a centralized government, their social organization is comparable to that of the neighboring Igbo. Ancestor worship, shared by the Oron and Eket settled on the right bank of the Cross River, is under the authority of the highest ranking members of the male association Ekpo (ghost). The presence of non-initiates in these rituals could cost them their lives. This society uses masks such as the idiok , related to fallen spirits, and the mfon , representing saved souls. The statues and puppets are used by the ekon society, every seven years, through theatrical performances accompanied by music.
Ref: "Art of Nigeria in French private collections" ed. 5Continents.
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