Janus Helmet Crest Mask with Elaborate Coiffure
Ejagham/Ekoi Tribe, Nigeria
Wood, antelope skin, pigment
Inventory # 10465
The Ejagham (Ekoi) people live in a politically decentralized group of small, scattered villages with several clans united under the leadership of a priest/chief (Ntoon). The Ntoon is responsible for the ritual activities of the community while various societies of elders and age-grade associations of young men perform the political functions. The Ejagham’s best-known art forms are large, skin-covered headdresses (crest masks), such as this piece, which were attached to a costume and worn on the top of the head. They were likely used in connection with celebrations or rituals associated with initiation ceremonies.
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