Igbo Agbogho Mmwo Mask, Nigeria


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Product Description

Maiden Spirit Helmet Mask
Igbo People, Nigeria
Wood, pigment and fibre
47 x 25 x 21 cms
mid 20th century

Agbogho Mmwo masks are worn by men during masquerades marking important occasions in the Igbo calendar. They represent the spirit of a beautiful young maiden, and emphasise particularly admired aspects of female beauty, including delicate features, elaborate hairstyles and subtle scarification. The white pigment indicates that the mask represents a spirit rather than a living person.

When worn in masquerade, the mask has a fabric curtain attached to the back, hanging down around the wearer’s shoulders. This mask has holes drilled around the edge for the attachment of the curtain, as well as exhibiting some wear to the chin area of the interior, both of which details suggest that the mask has seen use in a tribal context.


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