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 Dance Mask
Object Name:
Mask, Dance, Idoma
Other Name:
Mask, Face, Idoma
Place of Origin:
Idoma, Nigeria, Africa
Aboriginal Indigenous Art.

Anthropomorphic face masks are used both by the northern Igbo and by the southern Idoma. Among the Idoma, Ikpobi masks 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. Narrow slit slightly protruding eyes, under thin concave carved, crescent—shaped eyebrows. Open protruding mouth, with full lips, containing top and bottom rows of individually carved teeth. Large protruding nose, with upturned flared nostrils. Arch leading up from bridge of nose, and forming a V / T shape at top center of forehead. Hairline extending over top center of head, forming two slight arches at right and left center and continuing down to just over ears. Slightly protruding ringed crescent—shaped ears. Square with criss—cross interior, scarification marks directly in front of either ear. Long thin scarification mark running diagonially down central right cheek, starting just under right eye. Five small circular, protruding scarification marks, starting at center of forehead and forming crescent—shape, ending under eyes, on either side of face. Dark brown patina covering entire facial area.
Guy Mace Collection, (Turblex Company)
Wood W/Patina
Ritually Used
Carving / Painting
Art Department, MSSU
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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