African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Masque Ijo

Ijo Crest Mask (N° 18602)

Geometric tribal masks among African art sculptures
This heavy abstract mask, referring to the spirits of nature, was used by one of the male fraternities sekiapu or dancing people who wore it obliquely on their heads. The stylized face, evoking the structure of the grebo masks, is accompanied by a projection in 'palm'. Black patina coated with indigo.
The Ijo of the Niger Delta live mainly on fishing and agriculture, and their small villages are located in marshy areas west of the Nun River, their cosmogony has naturally focused on this environment. References to their warrior past abound on the other hand in reliquaries, rituals and hidden celebrations. Their masks and other artistic productions are intended to honor the aquatic spirits, oru or owuamapu , whom they venerate and to whom were intended sacrifices. Fishermen had to be careful not to offend these spirits or they could destroy their wrath by means of the various dangerous animal species in the region, such as hippos, crocodiles or pythons. The Ijo believe that spirits and humans come from the same place called Wonyinghibou our Mother the Forest, and let them return after death to wait for a new life. Only women give birth: the Ijo therefore consider the creator, Wonyinghi , to be feminine. They also consider all their masks, zoomorphs or anthropomorphs, Owumo , to be water spirits. (" The Other Face, ed. A.Biro and Nigerian Arts ed.5Continents.)  

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Originex-collection britannique
Weight3.25 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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