This Tiv mask showcases a blue bird sitting on top of the head. Masks like this are used during the Kwagh-Hir festival along with elaborate costumes, puppets and marionettes. This particular mask measures 22 inches tall and weighs 2 pounds. There is an animal under the bird but he is missing his head. The bird is missing his wings and the end of his beak. There is a previous repair to the head of the the bird. Cracking, scuffing and wear and tear throughout – please inspect photos. Stand not included.
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Broken wings, broken beak, missing animal head, repairs and cracking
About the Tiv people
“The 1,000,000 Tiv people live from farming fields on the left bank of the Benue River and take their name from their eponymous ancestor. They carve figures which are either large and elongated or naturally proportioned with round heads and occasionally scarification at the corners of the mouth and a crested coiffure. Some of these figures were used as posts for reception huts, while others, called Ihambe, are to linked to the concept of fecundity and marriage. Tiv blacksmiths have achieved notoriety for their ‘prestige’ adzes in which the handle ends in a stylized human head with a blade sprouting from it. These are used during festivities and important meetings. Their metal output also includes small copper figures with splayed legs and rounded heads”
Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.
About the Kwagh-Hir
Kwagh-hir is a performance with different types of masks for different types of plays, meaning different things with a combination of storytelling, poetry, puppetry, music, dance and drama. Kwagh-hir translates to ‘something magical’. There are four different categories; the musicians, the management, sculptors and performers.