MaskArtist(s)IbibioArtist NationalityIbibioObject Creation Date1900-1984Medium & Supportwood, paint, and mirrorsDimensions
7 9/16 in x 5 7/8 in x 4 in (19.21 cm x 14.92 cm x 10.16 cm)Credit LineGift of Prof. and Mrs. Horace M. MinerSubject matterEkpo,
the Ibibio word for 'ancestor', was also the name of the most important men's society, called Ekpo Nyoho.
Usually shortened to just Ekpo
, the society had governmental, judicial, and economic functions. Masks used for festivals and masquerades for Ekpo
were either dark colored masks called idiok,
or light colored masks called mfon
. Such masks were thought to evoke both benign and malevolent ancestors, which were responsible for protecting their descendants. The asymmetrical face and twisted nose of this mask suggest it could possibly be adiaha unak
, an assistant to akpan idiok
, another dark colored mask, considered the leader of Ekpo
Cole, Herbert M. 2012. Invention and Tradition: The Art of Southeastern Nigeria.
Munich: Prestel. Physical Description
A small, oblong shaped mask with mirrors in the eyes and on the cheeks. The mask is dark in color, with a raised forehead ridge and small slits above the mirror-covered eyes. The nose is long and twists to one side of the face. Primary Object Classification Sculpture Primary Object TypemaskCollection AreaAfricanRights
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