African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Igbo mask
Igbo Mgbedike mask (N° 20986)
The Igbo-Afikpo distortion in African art
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These African masks called "the time of the brave", sometimes in the guise of elaborate superstructures, often combine horns, spikes, and zoomorphic elements to personify bravery. The mask opposite, whose face is extended by a long curved muzzle, bears sculpted growths in which faces and birds mingle. A whitewash of river clay, a white kaolin in relation to the ancestors, crusty, neighboring with polychrome highlights.
These aggressive masks, accompanied by a motley paraphernalia of quills, raffia, palm leaves and weapons, perform during spectacular festivals during the dry season, the most famous being the okumkpa i>, and some funerals. The most voluminous are worn by mature men initiates of the company Ekpo . Each of the mask wearers embodies a spirit whose name the mask adopts.
The Igbo people live in the forest in south-eastern Nigeria. They managed to combine a deep sense of individuality with an equally strong sense of belonging to the group. Their political system is complex and little known. The village is the most important social unit, the smallest is the extended family. Each village has a high degree of autonomy and is placed under the authority of the oldest lineage chief.
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|Estimated dating||circa 1960|
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