Found in Southeastern Igboland, primarily in Afikpo towns, nnade okumkpa (meaning 'father of Okumkpa') masks are worn by senior and junior leaders of Okumkpa ceremonies. Nnade okumpa masks are danced annually by during Okumkpa ceremonies to celebrate the end of the dry season and to satirise the lives of villagers.
Believed to hold great supernatural power (the spirit of the Mma secret society resides within the mask), nnade okukpa masks are kept in the village rest house when not in use and are only ever brought out during Okumkpa plays. Sacrifices of eggs are made to the mask which is why a number of older nnade okumkpa masks are patinated with eggshells.
There are two main sub-types of nnade okumkpa mask:
"The two players dance together forming a bound pair. The two leaders, okumkpa odudo, wear a floppy, wide-brimmed mat hat and are easily identifiable amongst the players by their special dress and actions. They do not sit down and do not usually dance about. The two men are responsible for indicating the end of each stage, for starting a new one, and for directing the music, singing, and dancing. They must keep the players seated in orderly fashion."1
Sub-type variations (Senior Nnade Okumkpa):
Sub-type variations (Junior Nnade Okumkpa):