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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Ibibio : Ibibio Wooden Polychrome Helmet Mask
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Ibibio Wooden Polychrome Helmet Mask - PF.4830
Origin: Southeastern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 24.5" (62.2cm) high x 11" (27.9cm) wide
Collection: African
Style: Ibibio
Medium: Wood, Paint, Cloth

Location: United States
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Masks have the wonderful ability of presenting very human qualities in a larger than life format. The Ibibio artists excel in large scale, polychrome masks, used in dances and masquerades such as those performed by the Ogbom society. The instantaneous dramatic effect of this mask makes the viewer feel in the presence of someone very real; and yet super-real as well. This “other worldly” quality comes primarily from the penetrating eyes, which seem as if they are looking from another world. The face, with its finely carved folds of skin under the eyes may signify a venerable elder, or high-ranking member of an association. In the Ekon society, puppets are used to satirize prominent members in a good-humored manner. The smile on this mask seems to say he likes what he sees, and is enjoying the wonders of his people's festivities. - (PF.4830)


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