240712 - Rare Old African Igala helm mask - Nigeria.


Rare Old African Igala helm mask, Nigeria.
Hand carved from a single piece of wood, with color pigments.
Diameter: 37 cm.
This Igala mask is collected mid 20th century.
Very ornate IGALA helmet, used during ceremonies related to the EGU cult that celebrates the spirit of the dead. The cult of water (the spirit of the dead) is very important among the Igala and manifests itself during the Yam festivals that celebrate the yam harvest
This type of convex helmet with half-closed almond-shaped openwork eyes and round ears resembles the typology of the 9 royal masks of IDAH.Besides the royal Igala masks, the most famous during the Idah festivals, there are other rarer masks, some of which could have originated from the Akpoto.
On this Igala helmet mask we find the scarifications on the forehead, cheeks and temples, characteristic of the Ankpa region. The goatee is more commonly found on certain Idoma and Afo masks. This mask is the perfect illustration of a combination of various styles, as it comes from this cultural region with mixed influences