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Igbo Okoroshi Mask ALembu Collections
This mask comes from the Igbo people of the Ogbaku region of Nigeria. These kinds of masks are used in the so called “okoroshi” ceremonies, which are related to the rituals for the gods and the spirits of the water, “Owu”. These ceremonies occur during the rainy season, when all activities slow down, and they last for about six weeks. Two groups of dancers are placed facing each other: the good spirits “okoroshi oma” or “beautiful ghosts”, their masks and costumes painted in white are female; they are opposed by the angry male spirits “okoroshi ojo” or “evil, dark ghosts”, with their faces painted in black. Together they represent the dualities of good/evil, female/male, white clouds/dark rain clouds, beauty/distortion, delicate features/large misshapen features, village/wilderness, order/chaos, clarity/mystery. Held in open arenas for large crowds of onlookers, the two groups of dancers oppose one another and compete for the crowd’s attention and adulation. The ‘female’ dancers are graceful, elegant and silent while the ‘male’ dancers rush about wildly, leaping into the air and bellowing loudly. The ’female’ performers always win and in doing so, bless the crops and the future harvest.
Size: 380mm x 180mm x 150mm
1 in stock