220931 - Original African Idoma mask - Nigeria.
African mask from the Idoma, Nigeria.
Hand carved from a single piece of wood.
Height: 30 cm.
The Idoma are people that primarily inhabit the lower western areas of Benue State, Nigeria, and kindred groups can be found in Cross Rivers State, Enugu State, Kogi State and Nasarawa State in Nigeria. The Idoma language is classified in the Akweya subgroup of the Idomoid languages of the Volta–Niger family, which include Igede,Alago, Agatu, Etulo, Ete and Yala languages of Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi and Northern Cross River states. The Akweya subgroup is closely related to the Yatye-Akpa sub-group. The bulk of the territory is inland, south of river Benue, some seventy-two kilometres east of its confluence with River Niger. The Idomas are known to be 'warriors' and 'hunters' of class, but hospitable and peace-loving. The greater part of Idoma land remained largely unknown to the West until the 1920s, leaving much of the colourful traditional culture of the Idoma intact. The population of the Idoma is estimated to be about 3.5 million. The Idoma people have a traditional ruler called the Och'Idoma who is the head of the Idoma Area Traditional Council. This was introduced by the British. Each community has its own traditional chief such as the Ad'Ogbadibo of Orokam, Chief D.E Enenche. The Palace of the Och'Idoma is located at Otukpo, Benue State. The present Och'Idoma, Elias Ikoyi Obekpa was installed into office in 1997 and the position is for life.