This hand carved Eket headcrest mask from Nigeria features a long cylindrical shaped item that is wider on one end. It has a figure on the top and a small round mask with a face on the front. It has been adorned with vegetable fiber rope, beads and cowrie shells. It’s certainly a unique piece. There is some damage to the fabric covering, but the piece is in otherwise good condition.
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|Country of Origin||
Wood, pigment, beads, cowrie shells, vegetable fiber, fabric
Damage to fabric
About the Eket People
“The Niger River Delta area covers the entire southern part of Nigeria from the Benin River in the west to the Cross River in the east. There are two main cultural areas – the first includes the western side of the Niger River Delta and was first populated during the 9th century by migrating tribes who came from the north. The Ijo people were the first to settle in the area and now live on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. Later, other tribes such as the Urhubo, the Isoko and the Ogoni settled in the northern and western part of this delta area. The second cultural area is centered around the Cross River in eastern Nigeria and is home to the Ibibio, the Igbo, the Ekoi, the Oron and the Eket. The latter shares the same Ekpo secret society which was first introduced to the area by the Ibibio people.
To the west of the Oron people, near the sea, live the Eket people. They produce paneled and circular masks that are used during ceremonies related to their Ekpo secret society. The anthropomorphic headdresses are used in festivities connected with their Ekong war secret society.”
Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.