West Africa, Nigeria, Igbo peoples, ca. early to mid 20th century CE. A fine example of a wooden mask in the Okoroshi Oma style, hand carved and narrow, to be worn atop the head rather than over the face, with the rest of the body covered beneath it to hide the identity of the wearer. The mask's face is long and was once painted bright white with black details. The eyes are small and narrow, and the mouth is large. The feature of the mask that you will immediately notice is the hair, which is carved with two spikes atop the head. Okoroshi Oma masks are white faced, pretty masks meant to represent female water spirits; they are worn during the six month rainy season and represent the dualities associated with the feminine; there are complementary male spirit masks, which have black faces. Size: 5.5" W x 14.75" H (14 cm x 37.5 cm)
Provenance: ex Adeon Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA, acquired prior to 1970
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