NIGERIA, IGBO, AFIKPO PEOPLE, CA. MID 19TH TO EARLY 20TH CENTURY
A very special initiation mask of the Afikpo, quite rare because the vast majority of Afikpo masks were destroyed during colonial conflicts at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th centuries. This mask is most exceptional for its painstaking execution and dynamic aesthetic. The "face" is comprised of a section of a calabash gourd that is incised with two rows of horizontal linear slits and one long vertical slit between them. This surface was covered with red and white organic pigments. Above is a tall section comprised of numerous rows of cording that have been painted with a striking vertically striated design in natural pigments of red, white, black, and orange hues. The surrounding perimeter of the mask is comprised of a band of plaited vegetal fibers. Midway up the periphery are twin near spherical fiber bundles attached to loop handles. Long dried leaves line the back and emerge from the top.
Calabash gourd, wood, natural pigments of red, white, black, and orange hues, vegetal fibers
8.5 x 19.5 in. (21.6 cm x 49.5 cm)
PRICE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST