Mask

Mask

c. 1920s

Wood and pigment

Overall: 49.5 cm (19 1/2 in.)

Gift of Katherine C. White 1975.160

Description

Among the Ibibio, this Ekpo mask with a serene face depicts a beautiful, beneficent soul. This one probably honored a young Ibibio maiden who graduated from the "fattening house," an initiation school, where she was fed rich foods to strengthen and beautify her. The bead suspended around the neck of the surmounting head is an insignia of graduation. The double-braided coiffure may have been inspired by Victorian fashions observed by the sculptor in magazines or worn by English missionary women.

See also
Collection: 
African Art
Department: 
African Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture

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