African art > Mask > Masque Ibibio
Masque Ibibio (N° 13147)
Ex Swiss African art collection.
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The surface is entirely covered with furrows on this African mask ibibio with a crest in the form of two birds whose beak meets at the top, forming a graceful ornamental structure. One side has abraded areas, and gaps on the outer contours. The Ibibios are a people of West Africa, mainly present in southeastern Nigeria (Akwa Ibom State), but also in Ghana, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. Secret societies are numerous among the Ibibio set up 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 highest-ranking members of the Ekpo. They use masks such as the idiok, linked to fallen spirits, and the mfon, representing saved souls. The statues and puppets are used by the company ekon, every seven years, through theatrical performances accompanied by music.
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|Estimated dating||circa 1960|
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