Igbo Tall Maiden Mask / Headdress, Nigeria PROVENANCE

$ 4,250.00 $ 8,500.00
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  • Igbo Tall Maiden Mask / Headdress, Nigeria
  • Provenance: The Robert Banks Collection, Maryland.
  • A Tall carved wooden conical shaped mask or headdress, with elaborate carved details and some openwork design, kaolin clay pigments and remains of woven textiles that were part of the costume worn by the dancer.
  • Agbogho Mmwo, or "Maiden Spirit" Masks are danced by men at Festivals that honor important Deities. The Maiden Masks represent the Igbo Ideal of Female Beauty: small, balanced features, elaborate hairstyles, and delicate tattoos.
  • The Maiden Mask would have been used in performance by the male dancers to evoke a Woman that was the Embodiment of the "Feminine Ideal". Masks representing Women or Honoring Women's Powers performed by men was a means for a Community to negotiate Female Gender Roles.
  • The men who dance Agbogho Mmwo Masks wear colorful, tight-fitting fiber costumes, entertaining the Village with exaggerated versions of Women's Dances.
  • Igbo Maiden Masks are a visible manifestation of the Spirits of Departed Ancestors who periodically revisit the Human Community for Remembrance, Celebration, and Blessings.
  • Kaolin taken from local Riverbeds (which are associated with Healing and with a Spiritual, Ancestral Realm of Existence) was applied to the facial surface of the Mask.
    By using this Kaolin Clay Material/ Pigment, the Artist both celebrated the Beauty of Mortal Women a transformed into an Otherworldly, Sublime, Supernatural Being.
  • Igbo Peoples, Nigeria, Africa.
  • Measurements: Headdress itself is 22.5 inches tall.
  • Condition: fair, well worn
  • Age: Early to Mid 20th Century
  • The Mask will include a custom display stand.