Tribal art > African mask > Igbo Mask
Masque Agbogo mwo Igbo (N° 19279)
Ex-Swiss African art collection.
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The voluminous headdresses of the Ikorodo masks in the African art of Nigeria.
This African Igbo mask named Ikorodo in the Nsukka region of southern Nigeria glorifies youth and beauty, with narrow eye slits, a face with sharp white coated features, scarification and tattoos. The headdress is composed of three openworked wings topped with circular protrusions, hence the name "cap" headdress.
agbo-gho-mmwo mask refers to ancestral spirits, these masks frequently accompanying the deceased during funeral rites. Indeed, mmwo means "spirit of the dead", and more particularly of young girls, although it is worn by young men to honor the spirit of the earth. The headdress evokes the old female hairstyle decorated with brass coins.
Matt patina. Desiccation cracks.
The Igbo live in the forest in southeastern Nigeria. They have managed to combine a deep sense of individuality with an equally strong sense of belonging to the group. 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 placed under the authority of the oldest head of lineage. 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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