African art > Mask > Mask crest Ekoi Ejagham

Mask crest Ekoi Ejagham (N° 12502)

The Ekoi in African Art From a conical base in woven basketry stands a wooden head covered with animal skin, usually antelope, but originally composed of a skull and human skin. has a hairstyle made up of six extravagant removable horns, which are also leather-wrapped, with an open mouth, which could in some cases allow the ritual insertion of magic ingredients. oil, conferring on the object a lacquered appearance.The projecting eyes, circled with kaolin, stand out from the dark patina with carmine reflections.The costume of the dancer consisted of a large lattice of raffia cords, and more recently in cotton fabric, the masks were coated with palm oil before use, and placed in daylight so that their softening leather and adopts a suitable luster.Leopard societies, such as the company male K Ngbe among the Aro used this model of crest for initiation ceremonies or funerals of members of the association, but also during agricultural rituals.Hair would represent that of young women at the end of their seclusion Nkim dance was taught to them. Other dance groups, such as Ikem, still wore these masks in the 2000s. (Nigerian arts revisited, N. Barley) This type of African cephalomorphic mask, which would represent the trophy head of an enemy, meets among the Efik, the Kaka, the Banyang, the Boki, Ibibio, etc ... From Calabar, these African masks were originally produced by the Ekoi (Ejagham) and were transported throughout the Cross River region to southeastern Nigeria. From the seventeenth century the local populations underwent European influence through commercial transactions and the naturalism of their sculptures seems to follow. (" Africa ", Ed. Prestel, T. Phillips)  

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Originrécolté in-situ
EthnyEkoi
Countrycameroun
Material(s)wood, peau animale
Height59
Depth63
Width25
Weight2.20 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960

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