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Nigeria

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55. Igbira mask, Nigeria,
wood, mirrors, metal, wax, teeth and Abrus seeds, 20" (50.8 cm)
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55. Igbira mask, Nigeria, wood, mirrors, metal, wax, teeth and Abrus seeds, 20" (50.8 cm)
  This Igbira mask, along with
#33, were worn by a dancer called Ekeucici, or the servant of the dead. This masquerade accompanied another masked dancer called Ekuoba, which represented a particular deceased person. The Ekuecici appears as a ferocious apparition, performing erratically and violently, clearing the path for the dead. Armed with heavy sticks, the Ekuecici has been known to literally beat people to death if they are caught in the path of the Ekuoba. The Ekuecici is oftentimes accompanied by followers comprised of young men of the same lineage as the masquerade, and for whom the power of the Ekuecici means greater prestige. Over time the mask itself, as distinct from its roll as Ekuecici, may gain great power as medicine bundles or sacred materials are attached to it, making it a fetish object.

Collection of Dimondstein Tribal Arts

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