African Mask African Tribal African Tribal Face Hand Wood Igbo Masks by Ugbozo Ozooha-8919

$71.50 $99
29.2/24 -CM
Masks are one of West Africa's most enduring and compelling art forms. West Africa ranges from Nigeria to the Atlantic Ocean and as far north as Senegal and Mali. The use of masks in this area spans hundreds and perhaps thousands of years. Skilled craftsmen make masks, which are usually carved from wood and painted; they may also incorporate cloth, beads, shells, and raffia. West African masks cover the face or the head and are always worn with a costume. The Igbo (pronounced Ee-boh) of southeast Nigeria are one of the many West African peoples that hold numerous masked performances each year to honor ancestors, insure bountiful crops, teach moral lessons, and entertain audiences at festivals. Maskers, often referred to as mmanwu, also perform special rituals at ceremonies and rites of passage. Prior to the early 1900s, mmanwu played important judicial and policing roles in Igbo society. Masquerades typically occur outside during the dry season when harvest celebrations take place.

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