220714 - Traditional mask from the Ogoni - Nigeria.
Old Tribal used African mask from the Ogoni, Nigeria.
Hand carved from a single piece of wood.
Height: 47 cm.
This mask was collected between 1960 and 1970 and ended up in my private collection in 1998.
The Ogoni live to the east of the Niger delta, in a fertile area rich in petroleum resources. Despite the efforts of Christian missionaries, they have retained a vital, regionally varied masquerading activity that is in part deeply rooted in their own tradition and in part adopted from neighboring ethnic groups such as the Ibibio or Ijo. Ogoni mask dances serve a great variety of functions, which, depending on the region, can extend from pure entertainment to participation in funeral services and harvest festivals, all the way to the implementation of judicial verdicts. The masks of wild animals are danced, acrobatically, on the occasion of agrarian rituals.