**First Time At Auction**
Western Africa, Nigeria, Igbo peoples, ca. early 20th century CE. A hand-carved wooden maiden spirit mask with a finely-detailed face comprised of almond-shaped eyes, a slender nose, perky ears, a slightly-open mouth, and three projecting elements atop the head. The visage, though worn and discolored, would have exhibited chalky-white and jet-black painted details, indicating this mask as being an "Agbhoboh mmwo" (or maiden spirit mask). Agbogho mmwo are traditionally worn by adult males in festivals that pay homage to significant female deities. In addition to the masks, the performers don tight fitting and brightly hued costumes as they perform somewhat exaggerated and amplified versions of traditional female dances, all the while imitating the gestures and characters of adolescent girls. Such masquerades are performed each year during the dry season and accompanied by musicians. Size: 9.75" H (24.8 cm).
Provenance: ex-Adeon Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA acquired prior to 1970
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