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Tribal art > African mask > Ibibio mask

Ibibio mask (N° 19382)

Rare Ibibio mask, with a flat structure, on which appears a bone model treated with mastery. The mask is coated with an old polychrome patina, flaking in places. Cracks of desiccation. Height on base: 38 cm.
The Ibibios are a people of West Africa, mainly present in south-eastern Nigeria (Akwa Ibom State), but also in Ghana, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. The secret societies are numerous among the Ibibio settled west of the Cross River. Without a centralized government, their social organization is comparable to that of the neighboring Igbo. Ancestor worship is under the authority of the highest ranking members of the Ekpo. The latter use masks such as the idiok , linked to fallen spirits, and the mfon , representing saved souls. Statues and puppets are used by the society ekon , every seven years, through theatrical performances accompanied by music. Acquired by Guy Mercier, a consultant for the Solvay group, who undertook at the beginning of the 20th century to gather a vast collection of primitive art. While his work has spread throughout West and Central Africa, and he collects works in situ, the majority of his collection is however derived from "cabinets of curiosity" that abounded in European capitals during the 1920s. It also comes from prestigious galleries (Paris, Brussels, London, New York), but also from purchases from other collectors. Upon the death of his grandfather in the early 1980s, Jean-Charles Mercier inherited the collection in its entirety and enriched it with new acquisitions over a period of some twenty years.  

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This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity

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OriginEx. collection belge Mercier
EthnyIbibio
Countrynigéria
Material(s)wood
Height25
Width15
Weight0.97 Kg
Estimated dating2e quart xxe
Socle includedYes

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