Dance Mask
Ibibio, Eastern Nigeria, early 20th c
Provenance: Private NYC collection

The Ibibio, neighbors of the Igbo, live between the Niger River delta and the Cross River region. The Ibibio use masks in annual ceremonies for social control and ancestor worship. Similar to puppets, some Ibibio Masks, like this one, have a moveable jaw. This Mask's lower jaw is missing, however the projected upper lip and some of its filed teeth are still visible. The Mask's facial features are slightly distorted; an emphasized diamond outer form and arched brow line. Some remains of the masks coiffure are still visible on either side of the face. Natural erosion of the wood is visible on the back of the mask, while the front exhibits a smooth shiny patina from continued use and storage in dark huts.

Height: 9 in
IN 11-4-14/ SOLD