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Ethnic group : Songye Country of origin : Zaire ( D.R. Congo ) Material : Wood, metal, bell, cloth, rope, feathers, horns, animal skin, unknown substances Approximate age : Early – Mid 20th Century
Africa | Warrior figure of the "ikenga" cult from the Igbo people of Nigeria | Wood, paint, kaolin | ca. early 1900s | The "ikenga" symbolizes the Igbo adult male's aggressiveness and drive to achievement and success. Before undertaking a venture requiring economic skills or physical prowess the owner makes sacrificial offerings to the "ikenga", which embodies the spirit of the owner' s hand. This act of worship assures him the power to accomplish his goal.
This mask was created by the Baule people of Cote d'Ivoire. It is a very minimalistic mask carved from wood. There are two small triangular holes cut which enable the wearer to see. The rectangular mouth is very common among this style of mask. The predominantly red and white coloring emphasizes the few details. The circular face represents the life-giving force of the sun, while the horns symbolize the great power of the buffalo.