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Helmet Crest Mask (Idiok Ekpo)

Artist/Maker: Ibibio people (Nigeria)

Date: not dated
Medium: wood, stain and pigment
Overall: 12 x 9 1/8 x 9 in. (30.5 x 23.2 x 22.9 cm)
Classification: Clothing, Accessories and Jewelry
Credit Line: Gift of Alan Potamkin
Object number: 2007.48.113
DescriptionThis particular mask is fairly serene for the type of mask it seems to be because of its deformities. It is undoubtedly one of the Idiok Ekpo evil souls. It has lost its lips and nose due to disease, perhaps leprosy, thought to be inflicted upon those who have been criminals, suicides, or just socially unfortunate people with no family or home. Idiok Ekpo masks are always painted black with white accents and red to emphasize the sores or deformities. This mask is not as hideous as most in this category. The costume worn with these masks consists of waist length raffia fibers and ragged and dirty cloth clothing. They carry weapons or sticks and engage in threatening and destructive behavior.
Not on view
In Collection(s)