African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Idoma mask
Idoma mask (N° 22581)
The African masks worn as crests are varied among the Idoma, such as this figured mask topped with mats, some of which rise in volutes at the top. Linear scarifications in bars adorn the face, the black-tinted mouth opens wide on metal teeth. The headdress is said to be named ochobo and is related to the osobo dance. The head formed the upper part of a crest mask of the same type as ungulali masks.
Two-tone matte patina, grainy residue.
The Idoma live at the confluence of the Bénué and the Niger. Numbering 500,000, they are farmers and traders. There are Igbo, Cross River and Igala influences in their art and customs and it is often difficult to distinguish them from their neighbours. Okua masks are worn among the southern Idoma at funerals of important people and feature keloid scars running down the forehead, temples and cheeks. Other masks, including oglinye crests, had a judicial role under the authority of the elders
Ref. : "The Arts of the Benue" F. Neyt (p.120 to 125)
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