African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Eket statue
Female figure represented seated, wearing a crest related to the Ogbom ceremonies, which took place in front of the altar at the end of the periods of seclusion. The crest masks were then kept near the chimney flues of the huts to be protected from insects.
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Grainy patina, colored highlights.
The Eket, established in the south-east of Nigeria, are a sub-group of the Ibibio ethnic group renowned for their expressive masks. They are a patrilineal society whose villages are governed by the Ekpo Ndem Isong , a group of elders and heads of extended families. Their decisions are reinforced by members of the Ekpo society who act as messengers of the Ikan (ancestors) and who, during their political functions, are always masked. Their Ogbom ceremony, which takes place in the middle of the year every eight days throughout eight weeks, aims to appease the earth god named Ala , who grants fertility and abundant harvests.
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