This sculpture forms a reduced version of the large Ekoi Ejagham crest mask. Reddish brown patina, erosions.
Leopard societies, such as the male Kpe, Ngbe society among the Aro, used this crest design for initiation ceremonies or funerals of association members, but also during agricultural rituals.
The headdress would represent that of young women named Moninkim at the end of their traditional seclusions during which the Nkim dance was taught to them. Other dance groups, such as the Ikem, still wore these masks in the 2000s. (Nigerian Arts Revisited, N. Barley)
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