Tribal art > African mask > Igbo mask
Igbo Ikorodo mask (N° 14571)
The voluminous headdresses of Ikorodo masks in African art from Nigeria.
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This African Igbo mask named Ikorodo in the Nsukka region of southern Nigeria glorifies youth and beauty, thanks to narrow slits for the eyes, a sharp-featured face plastered with white, scarification and tattoos. The architectural headdress, composed of arched elements topped with a dome, stretches high.
The white color of the agbo-gho-mmwo mask refers to ancestral spirits, as these masks frequently accompany the deceased during funeral rites. Indeed, mmwo means "spirit of the dead," specifically of young girls, although it is worn by young men to honor the spirit of the land. The headdress is reminiscent of the ancient female headdress adorned with brass pieces.
Grainy matte patina, discrete polychrome highlights. Desiccation cracks and missing.
The Igbo live in the forest in southeast Nigeria. They have managed to combine a strong sense of individuality with an equally strong sense of group belonging. Their political system is complex and little known. The village is the largest social unit, the smallest being the extended family. Each village has a high degree of autonomy and is under the authority of the oldest lineage chief. The religion of the Igbo includes on the one hand the god Chuku , supreme creator, considered omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, and on the other hand the spirit of the earth Ala.
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