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.
Igbo Paddle Mask (Ohoroshi Oma)
Object Name:
Mask, Paddle, Ohoroshi Oma
Other Name:
Mask, Igbo
Place of Origin:
Igbo (In'be), Nigeria, Africa
Aboriginal Indigenous Art.
H = 11"
W = 9"
D = 4"


This mask type appears at "okoroshi" ceremonies, which are connected with rituals for deities or spirits of the water "owu". The mask type is spread from the southwestern to the northern Igbo country. During the rainy season all activities come to rest for about a month, in order to celebrate the appearance of the water spirits. Two groups of dancers are posted opposite to each other: those who encorporate the good spirits "okoroshi oma" or "beautiful ghosts", whose masks and costumes were dyed in white and on the opposite — those who encorporate the evil spirits "okoroshi ojo" or "malicious, dark ghosts", whose faces are blackened.

Oval—shaped ceremonial mask, painted in white, black and red paint. Right ear adorned with metal earring. Indigo blue fibre tufts, culminating in a raised vertical middle ridge across forehead, oval—shaped pierced eyes, triangular—shaped nose. Laughing mouth revealing two rows of teeth, the coiffure overlapping the forehead in three tapering points, the face enclosed by a raised rim arranged in half—circles.

Institute of International Studies Collection
Wood W/Yarn, Paint and Metal
Ritually Used
Carving / Weaving / Painting
Art Department, Missouri Southern State University
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Front ViewFront View
Front View - 2Front View - 2
Right Side ViewRight Side View
Left Side ViewLeft Side View
Rear ViewRear View