African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Ibibio mask
Ibibio/Anang Idiok mask (N° 20646)
This African ibibio mask, with its large hollow eyes in a bony face, evokes a skull. A toothed mouth is drawn under the nose that indicates an orifice.
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Dark patina, oiled, glossy.
Cracks and abrasions. Slight residues of red ochre pigments around the eyes.
Height on base: 49 cm.
The Ibibios are a West African people, mainly present in the southeast of 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 is under the authority of the highest ranking members of the Ekpo. The latter use 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.
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