Collection

Eket Face Mask

Eket Face Mask

Ibibio, Nigeria.
Mid 20th Century,
Wood, Pigment, 11¼" x 7".

Due to its overly large eyes and extreme countenance, this mask expresses several characteristics of various Ibibio styles. The Eket masks are known for an interest in overly round, concentric circles and sharp attention to precise detail. It’s nocturnal features suggest this mask may be one of many associated with the performance of the abubom, a festival connected with the celebration of the earth and the moon, and its overall connection to the Great Mother and a society's prosperity and lineage. It may also have been a mask used in the cultural tradition of ancestral worship or the Ogbom festival.

The term Eket refers to a sub-group of the Ibibio people. It is also the name of the most prominent ethnic language in the area, as well as a Nigerian city.

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