Lot: 259

Circular face mask for the "ekpo" society

Nigeria, Eket

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Pierre Dartevelle, Brussels, Belgium H: 7.1 inch 12000 EUR / 25000 EUR

wood, pigment, base Eket peoples, an Ibibio subgroup, share some style qualities and men's societies (such as "ekpo", "idiong" and "ekong") with other Ibibio groups. The "ekpo" society is especially known for the large number of extremely varied masks it deploys during the planting and harvesting of yams. Also the type of the small moon-shaped masks should, according to Neyt have been danced at yam festivals and funerals by members of the society. The rituals are said to have been related to the female creator deity or "Great Mother" ("eka abbassi") and the moon.

Lebas, Alain (ed.), Arts of Nigeria in French Private Collections, Milan 2012, ill. 61 ff. Hahner-Herzog, Iris, Das Zweite Gesicht, Afrikanische Masken aus der Sammlung Barbier-Mueller, Genf, München, New York 1997, p. 52 f.