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c1960 African Belgian Congo Igbo Ceremonial Mask
  • c1960 African Belgian Congo Igbo Ceremonial Mask
  • c1960 African Belgian Congo Igbo Ceremonial Mask
  • c1960 African Belgian Congo Igbo Ceremonial Mask
  • c1960 African Belgian Congo Igbo Ceremonial Mask
  • c1960 African Belgian Congo Igbo Ceremonial Mask
  • c1960 African Belgian Congo Igbo Ceremonial Mask
  • c1960 African Belgian Congo Igbo Ceremonial Mask
  • c1960 African Belgian Congo Igbo Ceremonial Mask
  • c1960 African Belgian Congo Igbo Ceremonial Mask
  • c1960 African Belgian Congo Igbo Ceremonial Mask
  • c1960 African Belgian Congo Igbo Ceremonial Mask
  • c1960 African Belgian Congo Igbo Ceremonial Mask

c1960 African Belgian Congo Igbo Ceremonial Mask

Price:

£800.00


Product Description

A fine condition large African Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) carved wooden Igbo ceremony mask.

The mask represents the face of a young woman with her hair mounted into a front and back pair of pronged horns. The face has had the traditional white chalk finish, highlighted in black. The horns are black and brown. The whole has the patina of age, given that the mask dates from at least the 1950s to 1960s. Condition is very good, although a couple a spikes of hair are chipped. The mask has not been cleaned or polished. On the inside is written in pen MOR.G

The Igbo use thousands of masks, which incarnate unspecified spirits of the dead, forming a vast community of souls. The outstanding characteristic of the many Igbo masks is that they are painted chalk white, the colour of the spirit. Masked dancers wore extremely elaborate costumes (sometimes ornamented with mirrors) and often their feet and hands were covered. With their masks, the Igbo oppose beauty to bestiality, the feminine to the masculine, black to white. The masks, of wood or fabric, are employed in a variety of dramas: social satires, sacred rituals (for ancestors and invocation of the gods), initiation, second burials, and public festivals, which now include Christmas and Independence Day. Some masks appear at only one festival, but the majority appear at many or all. Best known are those of the Northern Ibo Mmo society, which represent the spirits of deceased maidens and their mothers with masks symbolizing beauty and peacefulness.

It is part of a collection collected by a French Diplomat based in Africa and purchased from his retirement home in Brittany, France.

Size: 59 x 24 x 17 cm (23 ¼ x 9 ½ x 6 ¾ inches)
Weight: 1609 g

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