**Originally Listed At $250**
Western Africa, Nigeria, Ibibio peoples, ca. early 20th century CE. A wonderful, hand-carved wooden mask with a wide mouth, tubular eyes, a bulbous nose, and an enormous forehead, all painted in black and dark-brown pigments. The carved portion between the lips as well as around the eyes are colored with a white kaolin pigment. Several perforations line the periphery in order to attach a large textile costume. The Ibibio live in southeastern Nigeria on the Niger River Delta. Wealth in this society came largely from the sale of palm oil and the social dominance of certain individuals was reinforced through ritual dances that incorporated masks like this one. Some of these masks, however, also had spiritual significance. By being painted in a dark color (idiok), masks like this example represented the souls of evil people condemned to suffer as ghosts. Those wearing idiok masks would perform at night to be additionally frightening! Size: 8.25" W x 12.375" H (21 cm x 31.4 cm)
Provenance: ex-Adeon Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA, acquired prior to 1970
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