Masquerade Dance Mask - IGBO - Nigeria


Igbo Masquerade Dance Mask called "Agiriga", from South Western region of Nigeria

These masks were used by a male dancer and masker who are called ‘Okoroshi’ and embodies the character of ‘Agiriga’. These entertaining masquerades were cosmologically determined to coincide with propitious periods in the agricultural calendar and occurred in yearly cycles.

The most important festival masquerades are during the peak of the rainy season, and heralds the eating of the ‘New Yam’. Yams being the most celebrated and prestigious of Igbo foods.

Carved of light wood with an elongated face, triangular shaped nose high arched eyebrows above small eyes accentuated with scarification roundels. The open heart shaped mouth displaying two rows of teeth. The whole surmounted with a Central Two Pronged Crest holding an articulated bird.

Old dry smooth patina, extensive traces of white and black pigment

Early to mid 20th Century

Has been bought in the 50s in Paris and in a private collection since then

Dimensions : 35 x 15 x 8 cm

Weight : 340 gr


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