African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Idoma Mask
Crest - Janiform bust Idoma (N° 16507)
Two faces carried by a long neck are topped with tubular excrescences. Checkerboard scarifications decorate the faces. Holes at the base allowed the addition of raffia fibers. This dense wooden crest was used in dry season funeral ceremonies and festivities in the Cross River region.
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Crusty patina, locally chipped. Cracks.
The Idoma inhabit the confluence of the Benue and Niger rivers. Numbering 500,000, they are farmers and traders. The influence of their Igbo neighbors, the Cross River and Igala ethnic groups have generated great similarities and stylistic borrowings. The royal lineage members of their oglinye society, glorifying courage, use very diverse masks and crests, during funerals and festivities. Some of them could not be seen, on pain of death. They also produce statues of fertility with whitened faces and incised teeth. Janiform crests are usually displayed at the funerals of notables.
Members of the male Kwompten society, meanwhile, used statues named goemai in healing rituals.
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