Mask - Wood - Ibo - Nigeria

Mask - Wood - Ibo - Nigeria
2nd half 20th century - Vintage - used with visible signs of wear

This type of mask was, and sometimes still is, worn in front of the stomach of the dancers during fertility rituals. This custom can be found at many tribes in Africa, including the Yoruba, Ibo and Makonde.

Usually belly masks represent pregnant women, referring to fertility. Because men are not special to portray when it comes to fertility. The body of a man can not show us that a child of his is growing inside his stomach. Besides he is given the benefit of doubt much more than a woman that he can have children. In any event he is fertile. However, male belly masks do appear, but rarely.

Condition: with traces of wear and tear, crusty patina. See photos for details.

Like almost all belly masks for sale, this mask is also offered without the corresponding face mask. But also please pay attention to the female belly mask that I offer in the auction too. It has most probably been carved by the same person.

Lot details
Ethnic group/ culture
Region/ country
2nd half 20th century
Vintage - used with visible signs of wear
Sold with stand
46×22×16 cm
1.9 kg
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