Igala Ibegwu Mask with Horns, Nigeria #955

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  • Igala Ibegwu Mask with Horns, Nigeria #955
  • This Igala piece is not a full Helmet Mask, in that it would only fully cover the upper back and face of the dancer. Birds and a Snake crawl over the top of the head. This mask is made by the same carver as one exhibited in Paris at the Rungstedlund (Karen Blixen museum), La Maison Danemark, 1998.
  • Materials: Wood, Abrus seeds, pigment, resin 
  • Measurments: 21" 
  • The Igala People regard God or Ọjọ́-chàmáchālāà as all-Knowing and all-Seeing, a similar worldview to that of the Abrahamic Faiths that originated in the Middle East and have now started to eclipse Traditional Faiths.
    However, to access this God and to ascertain what is His Message, Ifa Divination needs to be consulted.
    To this end, all the Demigods, especially the Natural Elements of Water and Land, are given Sacrificial Offerings periodically. This is done to gain their favor.
  • Another aspect of Deity amongst the Igalas is the Ibegwu; Ibo (People) Egwu (Dead). The Spirits of the Departed Souls play an important role in the various Clans. It is believed that They see everything and know everything, and hence are good in Arbitration. The Ibegwu judges the Actions of the Living, especially in Cases of Land Disputes, Infidelity, Family Disputes and general Conducts regarding Sex and Sexuality; (Ibegwu forbids sex in daytime, oral sex, brothers sharing the same sex partners, etc.). However, Ibegwu is only potent on individuals whose Families are connected to it. Families that have no ties with Ibegwu do not usually feel their impact. When Ibegwu judges a person of Wrongdoing, the consequence is the manifestation of diseases that defy medical solution.