MSSU African Art Exibit : The MSSU African Art collection features a variety of authentic works of art from various tribes located throughout Central Africa. The objects in the collection range from mundane day to day grooming tools to ritualistic masks and statues.
Idoma Ikpobi Dance Mask
Object Name:
Mask, Dance, Ikpobi
Other Name:
Mask, Face, Idoma
Place of Origin:
Idoma, Nigeria, Africa
Aboriginal Indigenous Art.
H = 13"
W = 9"
D = 6"

Anthropomorphic face masks are used both by the northern Igbo and by the southern Idoma. Among the Idoma, Ikpobi masks like this one belong to younger men's age—grade associations. This masquerading tradition presumably emerged from the dances once performed by warriors returning home from battle and presenting their enemies' heads as trophies to the village. The age—grades lost their military function with the onset of the colonial period, and such victory celebrations ceased. Today Ikpobi maskers appear primarily at funeral ceremonies, and always in male—female pairs.

Herzog, African Masks, P. 58

Oval—shaped wooden face mask. Hairline formed by three arcs, narrow slit eyes, slightly open protruding mouth containing three large teeth. Scarification marks running vertically over middle of forehead, down long slender nose and forming a square shape around both ears. Dark brown wood (possibly brown patina), with white or light tan paint covering most of facial area.
Guy Mace Collection, (Turblex Company)
Wood W/Paint
Ritually Used
Carving / Painting
Art Department, MSSU
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Front ViewFront View
Front View, Close-UpFront View, Close-Up
Right Side ViewRight Side View
Left Side ViewLeft Side View
Rear ViewRear View