African art > Mask > Masque Ibibio
Masque Ibibio Idiok polychrome (N° 18390)
This African ibibio mask appears to be a skull. A large toothed mouth in the lower part accentuates the striking effect. Grainy matte patina.
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The Ibibios are a people of West Africa, mainly present in southeastern Nigeria (Akwa Ibom State), but also in Ghana, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. There are many secret societies among the Ibibios living west of the Cross River. Without centralized government, their social organization is comparable to that of neighbouring Igbo. The cult of ancestors is under the authority of the most senior members of the Ekpo. They use masks such as the idiok , linked to fallen spirits, and the mfon, representing the saved souls. Statues and puppets are used by ekon society every seven years through theatrical performances accompanied by music.
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