African art > Mask > Igbo Crest
Masque facial Igbo (N° 14949)
African art and the spectacular crest masks of the Igbo
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Classic version of the Igbo African mask Agbogo Mmwo borrowing traditional conventions glorifying youth and beauty, this mask has thin horizontal incisions indicating the eyes, a narrow face covered in white, scarifications and tattoos in checkered or lozenges with a dark hue. Three open fins topped with circular growths, "à bouchons", and thick side braids make up its sophisticated hairstyle.
The white color of the mask refers to ancestral spirits, these masks frequently accompanying the deceased during funeral rites. Indeed, mmwo means " spirit of the dead". A polychrome composed of blue, red and white enhances the room. 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 .
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