African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Igbo Mask

Igbo Mask (N° 14503)

This Igbo African mask called Ikorodo in the Nsukka region of southern Nigeria glorifies youth and beauty, thanks to narrow slits for the eyes, a face with sharp features covered in white, teeth traditionally cut into point scarifications and tattoos. The headdress is composed of three high open fins topped with circular growths, hence the name of the headdress called "à bouchons".
The white color of the mask agbo-gho-mmwo refers to ancestral spirits, these masks frequently accompanying the deceased during funeral rites. Indeed, mmwo means " spirit of the dead", and especially of young girls, although it is worn by young men in order to honor the spirit of the earth. The headdress evokes the old female hairstyle adorned with brass pieces. The Igbo live in the forest in southeastern Nigeria. They managed to associate 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 being the extended family. Each village has a high degree of autonomy and is placed under the authority of the oldest lineage leader. The religion of the Igbo includes on the one hand the god Chuk , supreme creator, considered omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, and on the other hand the spirit of the earth Ala . Source: "African Masks of the Coll. Barbier-Mueller", ed. Adam Biro  

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Originex-collection anglaise
Height cm46
Width23 cm
Weight4.00 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°
Socle inclusOptional

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