Sculpture is central to the culture and traditions of the Ogoni, a people native to Rivers State, Nigeria. While the themes and styles of sculpture differ between regions, most fall into one of seven categories:
Masks are particularly symbolic to the Ogoni and are worn at important ceremonies like the one marking the beginning of the farming season. Here, performers put on a show to honour the founding ancestors and praise the local deity. Masks are also worn to celebrate Christmas, the dawning of a new year and in funeral ceremonies.
In this horned mask, representing the antelope, the Ogoni dance to the beat of the kere karikpo drum, making leaps forward and back.