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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Ibibio : Ibibio Wooden Polychrome Face Mask
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Ibibio Wooden Polychrome Face Mask - PF.4834
Origin: Southeastern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 36" (91.4cm) high
Collection: African
Medium: Wood and Mixed Media

Location: United States
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The Ibibio people enjoy adding theatrical elements to their ceremonies and rituals. This unique form of visual drama, as seen in the use of sunglasses in this delightful mask, appears to have a Western influence. In fact, paint was introduced by the Europeans, but utilized in a way that is distinctly African. Though the gorilla aspect is quite clear, there is a definite human quality in the expression, and the impish grin that lights up with a fine row of white teeth. Using brown pigment on the head gives the impression of hair, while the yellow on the cheeks has the surprising effect of a healthy “glow.” The Ibibio artists are unique in Africa in utilizing a polychrome effect combined with separate panels in some of the ekpo society masks. A long cloth covering at the back of the dark green and multi-colored patterns adds a sense of mystery to a mask that is very rich in character. - (PF.4834)


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