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Olojufoforo (Ancestor Mask)

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The oloyiya (meaning ‘owner of combs’ also called okyiya, or epa are) mask is a ceremonial mask worn by the Yoruba people. These masks are a type of Epa mask from the Ekiti province in Nigeria, used in week-long,...


Geh-Naw (Initiation Headdress)

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The geh-naw is an initiation headdress worn by the Chu-den-zo initiation society of the Bassa people in Liberia. The Bassa are a part of Poro society, brought into it by the neighbouring Dei and Kpelle people.

As a...


Duein Fubara (Ancestor Memorial Screen)

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The Kalabari Ijo began creating ancestral screens during the nineteenth century as a way to honour, memorialise and communicate with deceased leaders of ‘war canoe houses’. Called duein fubara (sometimes written as...


Makunda (Initiation Mask)

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Makunda (also called n-khanda, m-khanda, longwa or nzo longo) is the initiation society used to transition male children into manhood. Yaka boys considered ready for initiation (called tundansi) are taken to a bush camp...


Kibango (Staff of Office)

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There are at least three different types of staffs, varying in degrees of importance, carried by Luba chiefs and high-ranking officials.

Dilanga is the simplest staff. It is tall and sticklike, often accompanied by a bell...


Kayamba ('The Cunning Mask')

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The social and spiritual lives of the Lega people, are governed by a central initiation society known as Bwami; Bwami is responsible for teaching morality through community performances, dances and objects. The Bwami...