West Africa, Nigeria, Ogoni, early to mid 20th century CE. A small but very strong goat face mask (karikpo) traditionally used early in the agricultural season as a figure in ceremonies that honor the local founding ancestor. The Ogoni people have sustained rich farming lands of the Niger River Delta. This mask boasts an impressive pair of curled carved wood horns, and the visage is very bold with openwork wide eyes and mouth, a prominent curved, upturned nose, raised scarifications before the ears, and remains of white and black pigment on the surface. There are also perforations lining the perimeter, for the attachment of vegetal fibers (some remain) in order to attach to a costume or additional ornamentation. This mask was made for a dancer who would have moved in an acrobatic and at times racing motion. Just imagine it in this context! Size: 8.5" H (21.6 cm)
Provenance: ex-Adeon Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA acquired prior to 1970
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