231211 - Old African statue from the Eket people - Nigeria.


African Old statue from Eket people, Nigeria.
Hand carved from a single piece of wood, with color beads. size: 17 cm high.

The Eket, numbering one million, are an Ibibio subgroup of farmers who do not fish unlike their Cross River neighbors. The main economic staple in the region is the palm oil, which is extracted and sold to external markets. Every village is ruled by a group elders and the heads of extended families. Their decisions are enforced by members of the ekpo society who act as messengers of the ancestors. The Ekpo society requires that its initiates sponsor feasts for the town, which foster the appearance of the redistribution of wealth by providing the poor with food and drink. In effect, this allows the disparity in wealth to be perpetuated in Ibibio society. Ekpo members are always masked when performing their policing duties, and although their identities are almost always known, fear of retribution from the ancestors prevents most people from accusing those members who overstep their limits, effectively committing police brutality.