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African art - Ejagham:

Originally from Calabar, the Ejagham/Ekoi ethnic group was strongly influenced by trade with Europe during the 17th century. It is in the aesthetics of their productions that we find the strongest influence. These people mainly produced crest masks. Transported from Cross River to the South-East of Nigeria, the leopard societies of other ethnic groups used these masks as examples in their agrarian rites, initiations or funerals.


Ejagham Crest Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Ejagham Crest Mask

Ex English African art collection.
This African mask was estimated to be auctioned at 750 euros.
From a conical base in braided basketry rises a wooden head sheathed with animal skin, antelope generally, ideal for feminine beauty in the Ejagham. This extravagant hairstyle consisting of four growths in volutes, also lined with leather, would represent the hair extensions of the girls at the end of their period of initiation. The hollowed-out mouth has teeth. The whole thing was oil-slaped, velbling the brown patina. Stretched eyelids open onto bleached globes. The dancer's costume consisted of a large lattice of raffia ropes, and more recently, cotton fabric. The masks were coated with palm oil before use, and placed in daylight so that the leather would soften and adopt a ...


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Miniature bust Ekoi Ejagham
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statuette Ekoi

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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240.00  192.00

Male figure Ejagham
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Ejagham Statue

This statue would evoke an Ikem dance dancer sporting the extravagant hairstyle consisting of volute growths, depicting the hair extensions of the girls at the end of their period of initiation. It was carved from a wood that was then sheathed with animal skin, mostly antelope. The mouth reveals ritually cut teeth. Stretched eyelids open onto bleached globes. The elements of the head are removable. The dancer's costume consisted of a large lattice of raffia ropes, and more recently, cotton fabric. The masks were coated with palm oil before use, and placed in daylight so that the leather would soften and adopt a satisfying luster. Leopard societies, such as the male society Kpe, Ngbe among the Aro, used this crest model for initiation ceremonies or funerals of association members, but ...


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450.00  360.00

Ejagham Crest Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Ekoi Crest

A circular base in braided basketry rises a head evoking the ideal of feminine beauty in the Ejaghams. It was carved from a wood that was then sheathed with animal skin, mostly antelope. This extravagant hairstyle consisting of a volute growth between two leather-trimmed horns, would represent the hair extensions of the girls at the end of their period of initiation. The hollowed-out mouth has metallic teeth. Stretched eyelids open onto bleached globes.
The dancer's costume consisted of a large lattice of raffia ropes, and more recently, cotton fabric. The masks were coated with palm oil before use, and placed in daylight so that the leather would soften and adopt a satisfying luster. Leopard societies, such as the male society Kpe, Ngbe among the Aro, used this crest model for ...


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