Your search for: wood returned 221 results

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...


Lupona (Royal Stool)

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Lupona caryatid stools, thrones, or seats of leadership, (also called kipona or kihona in some sources) are considered the most important of all Luba royal insignia of office. Used solely by Luba rulers, lupona stools are a...


Lukasa (Memory Board)

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Mbudye (pl. Bambudye) is an association, believed to have been founded in the eighteenth century, responsible for a number of Luba functions:

Assisting in the installation of a king for office Safeguarding heirlooms of...


Bocio (Protective Figure)

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The Fon ethnic group of Benin worship vodun (meaning ‘gods, spirits, ancestors, and deities’) and Mawu (the supreme God) of the Vodun religion. Similar to the Yoruba orisha, the Fon believe that vodun, residing in the...


Bocio (Protective Figure)

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The Fon ethnic group of Benin worship vodun (meaning ‘gods, spirits, ancestors, and deities’) and Mawu (the supreme God) of the Vodun religion. Similar to the Yoruba orisha, the Fon believe that vodun, residing in the...


Bocio (Protective Figure)

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The Fon ethnic group of Benin worship vodun (meaning ‘gods, spirits, ancestors, and deities’) and Mawu (the supreme God) of the Vodun religion. Similar to the Yoruba orisha, the Fon believe that vodun, residing in the...


Bocio (Protective Figure)

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The Fon ethnic group of Benin worship vodun (meaning ‘gods, spirits, ancestors, and deities’) and Mawu (the supreme God) of the Vodun religion. Similar to the Yoruba orisha, the Fon believe that vodun, residing in the...


Bocio (Protective Figure)

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The Fon ethnic group of Benin worship vodun (meaning ‘gods, spirits, ancestors, and deities’) and Mawu (the supreme God) of the Vodun religion. Similar to the Yoruba orisha, the Fon believe that vodun, residing in the...


Bocio (Protective Figure)

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The Fon ethnic group of Benin worship vodun (meaning ‘gods, spirits, ancestors, and deities’) and Mawu (the supreme God) of the Vodun religion. Similar to the Yoruba orisha, the Fon believe that vodun, residing in the...


Ngongo (Initiation Mask)

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The Lwalu (some sources use ‘Lwalwa’) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola are primarily known as mask makers. Sculptors occupy a privileged place in society (such as community chiefs) and are...


Ngongo (Initiation Mask)

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The Lwalu (some sources use ‘Lwalwa’) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola are primarily known as mask makers. Sculptors occupy a privileged place in society (such as community chiefs) and are...


Ngongo (Initiation Mask)

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The Lwalu (some sources use ‘Lwalwa’) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola are primarily known as mask makers. Sculptors occupy a privileged place in society (such as community chiefs) and are...


Nkanda ('Wife of the Day' Mask)

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The Woyo (and Vili) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola, make use of wooden masks,  banana leaf and feather costumes called ndunga. The masks and costumes are worn by members of Bandunga (also called Bakama Ba...


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...


Moghondzi (Ancestor Mask)

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The Vuvi of Gabon are a small ethnic group between the Offoué and Lolo Rivers. Like their Kota, Fang and Punu neighbours, the Vuvi worship and venerate ancestors through a number of rituals and ceremonies. The practice of...


Kablé (Buffalo Headdress)

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The Tussian (called Tusiã, Tusian, Toussian, and Tusya, in various sources) are a small ethnic group in Burkina Faso. All men and some women within the community must be initiated into the Dó (also called Dou) association....


Loniakê (Animal Totem Mask)

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The Tussian (called Tusiã, Tusian, Toussian, and Tusya, in various sources) are a small ethnic group in Burkina Faso. All men and some women within the community must be initiated into the Dó (also called Dou) association....


Hegba (Stool)

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The Bongo of Sudan carve backless and armless small stools called hegba. Used solely by women, these distinctive stools were once found in every Bongo household and were designed for use in everyday...


Mutsago (Ancestor Headrest)

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The Shona of Zimbabwe carve mutsago headrests in a variety of shapes, forms, and designs. These headrests, carved and used solely by men, are said to have a number of uses. The primary use of mutsago headrests is for sleep....


Karan-Wemba (Ancestor Mask)

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The Mossi of Bukina Faso and the Dogon of Mali make use of karan-wemba masks.

For the Dogon, the masks represent a Yasigine or Satimbe, an elderly woman who, as part of the mask society, has been part of two Sigi...


Okuyi (Female 'Mourning' Mask)

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The Punu and Lumbo of the Gabonese Republic are matrilineal; they trace their lines of descent through the women of the community. As such, female ancestors are venerated and the ‘first’ female ancestor—the...


Misikun (Cow Helmet Mask)

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Six initiation societies, known as dyow (sing. dyo), govern the social, economic, and spiritual lives of Bamana men. The six societies are n’domo, komo, nama, kono, chi wara and kore. A Bamana man must pass through each...


Nkiteki (Ancestor Figure)

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The Bembe, a sub-group of the larger Kongo ethnic group of the Democratic Republic of Congo, make use of two key types of figures: ancestral figures used to represent and honour deceased community leaders, and another group of...


Nkiteki (Ancestor Figure)

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The Bembe, a sub-group of the larger Kongo ethnic group of the Democratic Republic of Congo, make use of two key types of figures: ancestral figures used to represent and honour deceased community leaders, and another group of...


Mblo (Entertainment Mask)

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The Baule of modern day Ivory Coast perform a number of dances for village entertainment; one such performance is known as Mblo. Mblo is performed during times of stress, social anxiety, or political reversals, to bring relief...


Nsiba (Divination Whistle)

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Banganga (meaning diviners; literally ‘masters / priests of minkisi‘) defend community members against illness, witchcraft, infertility, and can even provide success in specific pursuits like hunting, by leveraging...


Manratche (Initiation Mask)

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The Bidjogo (also known as Bijogo, Bijagó, Bidyogo and Bidyugo) people of Bissagos (also Bijagós) archipelago, in current day Guinea Bissau, hold initiation rituals for young girls and boys, according to their age group....


Ogbodo Enyi (Elephant Spirit Headdress)

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The Izzi Igbo of Nigeria make use of a crest mask, or headdress, called ogbodo enyi, to cleanse each community of evil spirits and distructive elements, and are also used as agents for social control. Enyi meaning either...


Duafe (Comb)

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Demonstrating the dual nature that can exist in classic African art, Akan duafe combs represent the combination of art and function. These decorative combs are used by Akan women to groom and style their hair but also to adorn...


Awidie (Heddle Pulley)

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Across much of West Africa, weavers make use of loom, foot peddle, and heddle pulley combinations to weave simple or elaborate single strip textiles and cloth. An example of such a loom is that used by the Akan to create...


Tefalipitya (Champion Cultivator Staff)

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Before ‘gamification’ was a word, the Senufo of Ivory Coast were already leveraging its principles. In an effort to introduce competition, sport and fun into the arduous task of farming, young men work the land,...


Tefalipitya (Champion Cultivator Staff)

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Before ‘gamification’ was a word, the Senufo of Ivory Coast were already leveraging its principles. In an effort to introduce competition, sport and fun into the arduous task of farming, young men work the land,...


Kikaku (Initiation Wall Panel)

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Nkanda is the initiation society used to transition male children into manhood among the Nkanu. Nkanu boys are taken to a bush camp (kimpasi) outside of the main village (separation), circumcised and taught what it takes to...


Gahariga (Hornbill Figure)

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The social, economic and spiritual lives of Senufo men are governed by an overarching initiation society known as Poro. A Senufo man must pass through all stages of the initiation society to be considered a rounded man with...


Dolaba (Sigi Ceremonial Staff)

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The Dogon once believed that death did not exist, believing instead that immortal humans lived as serpents. However due to mankind breaking a religious restriction, people developed limited life-spans and eventually died. The...


Komokun (Beast Headdress)

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The social, economic and spiritual lives of Bamana men, in Southwestern Mali, are governed by a six initiation societies collectively known as dyow (sing. dyo). The six societies are n’domo, kòmò, nama, kono, chi wara...


Kore (Animal Mask)

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The social, economic and spiritual lives of Bamana men, in Southwestern Mali, are governed by six initiation societies collectively known as Dyow (also called Jow, sing. Dyo or Jo). The six societies are N’tomo (also called...


Nyeleni ('Pretty Little One' Figure)

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The social, economic and spiritual lives of Bamana men, in Southwestern Mali, are governed by six initiation societies collectively known as Dyow (also called Jow, sing. Dyo or Jo). The six societies are N’tomo (also called...


Togu Na (Shelter Post)

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The first shelter built and found in all Dogon villages, the togu na is a sanctuary for men to gather and discuss matters pertaining to the community’s wellbeing, success and protection. Strictly forbidden to women, togu...


Albarga (Old Man Mask)

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The Dogon once believed that death did not exist, believing instead that immortal humans lived as serpents. However due to mankind breaking a religious restriction, people developed limited life-spans and eventually died. The...


Ninandé (Sun Shelter Post)

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Mossi communities are typically divided into two groups—nakomsé rulers (relatives of the village chief, the Naba) and nyonyosé farmers. Each Mossi kingdom houses a compound (samandé) for the Naba, within which an ancestor...


Kasangu (Warrior Mask)

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The Mugongo society of warriors is responsible for the protection of Salampasu communities; society members protect against invasion from rival clans or other external forces. To become a member of Mugongo, Salampasu boys must...


Nkisi (Power Figure)

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Nkisi, also referred to as nkishi (pl. minkisi / mankishi / zinkisi) is the general name for an object (wooden figures, clay pots, gourds or bundles) containing an empowering spirit(s). An object only becomes an nkisi when it...


Nkisi (Power Figure)

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Nkisi, also referred to as nkishi (pl. minkisi / mankishi / zinkisi) is the general name for an object (wooden figures, clay pots, gourds or bundles) containing an empowering spirit(s). An object only becomes an nkisi when it...


Pombia ('Bush Spirit' Rhythm Pounder)

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The social, economic and spiritual lives of Senufo men are governed by an overarching initiation society known as Poro. A Senufo man must pass through all stages of the initiation society to be considered a rounded man with...


Mu Po (Power Figure)

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Mu po power figures are utilised in a variety of ways; for one, they are placed in the homes of pregnant women to ensure successful birth. It is believed that the representation of pregnancy in these figures represents...


Troh (Night Society Helmet Mask)

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Among the Bangwa kingdoms of the Cameroon Grassfields, the central fwa (chief) and a number of secret societies are responsible for the social rule of each kingdom. One such society is the Night Society (Troh) of nine council...


Lefem (Royal Ancestor Figure)

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The Bangwa of Cameroon are spread across nine independent kingdoms run by a central chief (fwa) and a number of secret societies responsible for the social rule of each kingdom. Fontem is the largest of these Bangwa chiefdoms...


Mabuh (Running Headdress)

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The various kingdoms in the North-West Province of the Cameroon Grassfields (including Nso, Kom, Bafut, Baui and Bamenda) are governed by a a central fon (king) and the Kwifon (also called Kwifoyn, Kwi’fo, Ngumba or Ngwerong...


Tu Ngünga (Funerary Headdress)

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Among the many kingdoms (fondom) of the Cameroon Grassfields, the central fon (chief) and a number of secret societies are responsible for the social rule of each kingdom. The Nsorro military society consists of male members...


Tu Nkum Mpelet (Prestige Helmet Mask)

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Among the many kingdoms (fondom) of the Cameroon Grassfields, the central fon (chief) and a number of secret societies are responsible for the social rule of each kingdom. In close counsel with Kwifor, Ngwerong, Mfu and...


Tu Mola (Military Installation Headdress)

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The commander-in-chief of the Bamum military is known as the tu panka (tu meaning ‘head’, pa meaning ‘persons’ and nka meaning ‘barrier’). The role of the tu panka is to led his army to war...


Ki (Smoking Pipe)

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Among the many kingdoms (fondom) of the Cameroon Grassfields, the central fon (chief) and a number of secret societies are responsible for the social rule of each kingdom. In close counsel with Kwifor, Ngwerong, Mfu and...


Nimba (Fertility Headdress)

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During important harvest festivals, weddings, funerals and celebrations to honour village guests and ancestors, a d’mba (also called nimba or yamban; meaning ‘the universal mother’) headdress is carried on...


Mboko (Female Bowl-Bearing Figure)

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The Luba typically turn to a bilumbu (diviner) when seeking identification of an illness or misfortune. It is the bilumbu’s responsibility liaise with the spirit world to identify the cause of the aliment and recommend a...


Mipasi (Ancestor Figure)

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The early 19th century saw a number of Tawba families grow their wealth by building trade agreements with other families in the region. This sudden growth in wealth saw these families establish prestige and control over their...


Mipasi (Ancestor Figure)

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The early 19th century saw a number of Tawba families grow their wealth by building trade agreements with other families in the region. This sudden growth in wealth saw these families establish prestige and control over their...


Mipasi (Ancestor Figure)

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The early 19th century saw a number of Tawba families grow their wealth by building trade agreements with other families in the region. This sudden growth in wealth saw these families establish prestige and control over their...


Elek (Ancestor Altar Head)

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The Baga believe that the world was created by the god Kanu and that Somtup is the spiritual being created to govern the Simo male initiation society; female societies are governed by a-Bol, the wife of Somtup.

Elekel...


Kifwebe (Power Mask)

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The Bwadi Bwa Kifwebe male society is responsible for maintaining control, order and rule among the Songye people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Community leaders makes use of witchcraft (buchi) and magic (masende) to...


Kifwebe (Power Mask)

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The Bwadi Bwa Kifwebe male society is responsible for maintaining control, order and rule among the Songye people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Community leaders makes use of witchcraft (buchi) and magic (masende) to...


Kisokolo (Initiation Headdress)

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Nkanda is the initiation society used to transition male children into manhood among the Nkanu. Nkanu boys are taken to a bush camp outside of the main village (separation), circumcised and taught what it takes to become a...


Vaa Bong (Initiation Helmet Mask)

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Vaa-bong helmet masks are used during the initiation of young Mumuye boys into the Vaa-Bong cult. At the end of the initiation period, vaa-bong masquerades dance in male only groups or in paris with their female counterpart...


Lang Gbadna (Bush Spirit Helmet Mask)

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The Chamba of Nigeria are divided into clans and chiefdoms, each of which is associated with a Vara (skull) cult of deceased ancestors. The cult celebrates and worships ancestors and the protective bush spirit of the...


Lagana (Divination Figure)

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Only really discovered by the West in the early 60s, the traditional use of Mumuye lagana figures (also called jagana, iagalagana or supa among Southern Mumuye and janari in the North) is still not very clear. A number of...


Okumkpa (Theatre Mask)

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Found in Southeastern Igboland, primarily in the town Afikpo, opa nwa (also called agbogho okumkpa or agbogho mma; meaning ‘carrying child’ or ‘hold child’; often referred to as ‘Queen...


Okumkpa (Theatre Mask)

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Found in Southeastern Igboland, primarily in Afikpo towns, okpesu umuruma (meaning ‘frighten children’; also called ihu ori, meaning ‘face ugly’) masks are worn by older performers at Okumkpa...


Okumkpa (Theatre Mask)

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Found in Southeastern Igboland, primarily in the town Afikpo, nne mgbo (meaning ‘mother of Mgbo‘) masks are worn by young boys and adult men of the Mmwo (or Mma) secret society during annually Okumkpa ceremonies...


Okumkpa (Theatre Mask)

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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...


Okumkpa (Theatre Mask)

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Found in Southeastern Igboland, primarily in Afikpo towns, mma ji (meaning ‘knife yam’ – also called mma ubi meaning ‘knife farm’ or ikwum) masks are used in a number of different plays and...


Okumkpa (Theatre Mask)

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Found in Southeastern Igboland, primarily in Afikpo towns, mkpe (meaning ‘horns’) masks are worn by adult men (usually musicians) of the Mmwo (or Mma) secret society. Mkpe masks are danced annually by masqueraded...


Okumkpa (Theatre Mask)

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Found in Southeastern Igboland, primarily in Afikpo towns, ibibio (meaning ‘beautiful woman’) masks are worn by adult men of the Mmwo (or Mma) secret society. Ibibio masks are danced annually by masqueraded men...


Okumkpa (Theatre Mask)

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Found in Southeastern Igboland, primarily in the town Afikpo, beke (also called mbeke or bekee in some sources; meaning ‘white man’) masks are one of the most commonly used masks worn by young men of the Mmwo (or...


Okumkpa (Theatre Mask)

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Found in Southeastern Igboland, primarily in the towns Afikpo, Ada, Edda and Amaseri, igri (also called okonkpo or egede) masks are among the rarest of masks worn by older male members of the Mmwo (or Mma) secret society....


Okumkpa (Theatre Mask)

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Found in Southeastern Igboland, primarily in the town Afikpo, acali masks are one of the first masks worn by young men of the Mmwo (or Mma) secret society. Acali masks are danced annually during Okumkpa ceremonies to...


Okumkpa (Theatre Mask)

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Found in Southeastern Igboland, primarily in the town Afikpo, mba masks are among the most common masks of that region. Used by older Igbo boys of the Mmwo (or Mma) secret society, mba masks are danced annually during Okumkpa...


Mbuya (Village Mask)

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Mbuya village masks are used to entertain a community during non-ritual festivities. Once used during mukanda initiation ceremonies to mark the end of male circumcision rituals, mbuya masquerades are now used to highlight a...


Mbuya (Village Mask)

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Mbuya village masks are used to entertain a community during non-ritual festivities. Once used during mukanda initiation ceremonies to mark the end of male circumcision rituals, mbuya masquerades are now used to highlight a...


Bo Nun Amuin ('Gods of the Bush' Helmet Mask)

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Considered the most sacred of masks, the Baule of modern day Ivory Coast make use of the bo nun amuin mask (also called bonu amuin, amuin yasua or bonu amuen; meaning ‘gods of the bush’ or ‘gods risen from...


Goli (Entertainment Mask)

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The Baule of modern day Ivory Coast perform a number of dances for village entertainment; one such performance is known as goli. A recent import from the Wan ethnic group (believed to come into use among the Baule after...


Goli (Entertainment Mask)

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The Baule of modern day Ivory Coast perform a number of dances for village entertainment; one such performance is known as goli. A recent import from the Wan ethnic group (believed to come into use among the Baule after...


Goli (Entertainment Mask)

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The Baule of modern day Ivory Coast perform a number of dances for village entertainment; one such performance is known as goli. A recent import from the Wan ethnic group (believed to come into use among the Baule after...


Goli (Entertainment Mask)

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The Baule of modern day Ivory Coast perform a number of dances for village entertainment; one such performance is known as goli. A recent import from the Wan ethnic group (believed to come into use among the Baule after...


Doho (Serpent Mask)

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Bwa legend has it that the world was abandoned by God (Difini or Dobweni) after he was injured by a woman. To enable continued communication between man and himself, God sent his son, Do to earth to act as an intermediary....


Hemba (Initiation Mask)

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Makunda (also called n-khanda, m-khanda, longwa or nzo longo) is the Yaka and Suku initiation society used to transition male children into manhood. Suku boys are taken to a bush camp outside of the main village, circumcised,...


Asie Usu (Bush Spirit Figure)

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Two primary forms of figure carvings are used by the Baule; asie usu (also called asye usu; literally meaning ‘genius of the bush’) figures used by diviners (komien) and blolo bian & blolo bia ‘spirit...


Bwoom (Commoner Helmet Mask)

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During male initiation ceremonies (nkaan), a helmet mask called bwoom is danced; the performance is used to teach initiates about Kuba history, cultural values and to instil an appreciation for Woot (the founding father and...


Ngaady aMwash (Mweel Mask)

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Legend has it that Woot (the first man created by God) contracted an illness, ran to the forest with his sister (Mweel) for recovery and they eventually emerged out of the forest as husband and wife after an incestuous...


Nwenka (Sacred Helmet Mask)

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The Bobo of Burkina Faso believe that the earth was created by the supreme being Wuro. During the creation of man, Wuro also produced masks to act as physical representations of his son Duwo through which man could...


Molo (Sacred Helmet Mask)

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The Bobo of Burkina Faso believe that the earth was created by the supreme being Wuro. During the creation of man, Wuro also produced masks to act as physical representations of his son Duwo through which man could...


Adoné (Antelope Headdress)

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Found in the Aribinda region of the Kurumba ethnic group, adoné headdresses are used to commemorate deceased clan leaders. It is believed that the soul of the deceased elder leaves the body to reside in the specially created...


Yehoti (Butterfly Mask)

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Bwa legend has it that the world was abandoned by God (Difini or Dobweni) after he was injured by a woman. To enable continued communication between man and himself, God sent his son, Do to earth to act as an intermediary....


Duho (Hawk Mask)

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Bwa legend has it that the world was abandoned by God (Difini or Dobweni) after he was injured by a woman. To enable continued communication between man and himself, God sent his son, Do to earth to act as an intermediary....


Kipoko (Chief Helmet Mask)

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The Eastern Pende believe that the kipoko mask (meaning ‘sword user’; poko meaning ‘knife’ or ‘sword’) contains the spirit of male beauty and represents the Chief of the community. The big...


Opon Igede Ifa (Divination Bowl)

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The Yoruba typically turn to a babalawo (diviner) when seeking advice or faced with an illness. An agere Ifa is a object that forms part of the divination ensemble. It, along with an iroke Ifa, opon Ifa, palm nuts and a number...


Mbuya (Village Mask)

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Mbuya village masks are used to entertain a community during non-ritual festivities. Once used during mukanda initiation ceremonies to mark the end of male circumcision rituals, mbuya masquerades are now used to highlight a...


Mbuya (Village Mask)

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Mbuya village masks are used to entertain a community during non-ritual festivities. Once used during mukanda initiation ceremonies to mark the end of male circumcision rituals, mbuya masquerades are now used to highlight a...


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...


Mbuya (Village Mask)

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Mbuya village masks are used to entertain a community during non-ritual festivities. Once used during mukanda initiation ceremonies to mark the end of male circumcision rituals, mbuya masquerades are now used to highlight a...


Mbuya (Village Mask)

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Mbuya village masks are used to entertain a community during non-ritual festivities. Once used during mukanda initiation ceremonies to mark the end of male circumcision rituals, mbuya masquerades are now used to highlight a...


M-Mbwoolu (Healing Figure)

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The Yaka typically turn to a ngoombu (diviner) when seeking identification of an illness or misfortune. It is the ngoombu’s responsibility to identify the cause of the aliment and recommend a remedy, without prior knowledge...


Kopa (Ceremonial Cup)

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Yaka community leaders have a number of items that form part of their royal collection. One of these items is the kopa ceremonial cup (also called koopa or mbassa; used by the Suku too). Presented to every new chief at his...


N'Koku Ngoombu (Slit Drum)

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The Yaka typically turn to a ngoombu (diviner) when seeking identification of an illness or misfortune. It is the ngoombu’s responsibility to identify the cause of the aliment and recommend a remedy, without prior...


Nwantantay (Water Spirit Mask)

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Bwa legend has it that the world was abandoned by God (Difini or Dobweni) after he was injured by a woman. To enable continued communication between man and himself, God sent his son, Do to earth to act as an intermediary....


Agbogho Mmwo (Maiden Spirit Helmet Mask)

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Used by the male Mmwo secret society, agbogho mmwo helmet masks (also called agbogho monnwu or ikorodo meaning ‘maiden spirit mask’) are used during annual ‘fame of maidens’ ceremonies to honour...


Ndoli Jowei (Sande Sowei Helmet Mask)

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The social, economic and spiritual lives of Mende men and women in Sierra Leone are governed by a number of secret initiation societies of which the primary societies are the male Poro (meaning ‘no end’ or...


Iran Otibago (Soul Container Figure)

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The Bidjogo (also known as Bijogo, Bijagó, Bidyogo and Bidyugo) people of Bissagos (also Bijagós) archipelago, in current day Guinea Bissau, believe that the spirit of deceased family members live on past the expiration of...


Bilondo (Bwami Insignia)

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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...


Idimu (Lineage Ornament)

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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...


Lukwakongo (Ancestor Ornament)

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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...


Zazaigo (Antelope Headdress)

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The zazaigo (pl. zazaido) headdress, used by Mossi associations of young men, functions mainly to honour deceased members of the community during kuré funeral ceremonies, held during dry seasons when farming activities are...


Zazaigo (Antelope Headdress)

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The zazaigo (pl. zazaido) headdress, used by Mossi associations of young men, functions mainly to honour deceased members of the community during kuré funeral ceremonies, held during dry seasons when farming activities are...


Bateba Duntundara (Witch Protection Figure)

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The Lobi believe that the universe was created by the god Tangba, under which sit a number of deities and spirits called Thila (sing. Thil). Under these Thila are the spirits of the bush, Kontuossi, after which human beings...


Samana (Foreign Warrior Mask)

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The Dogon once believed that death did not exist, believing instead that immortal humans lived as serpents. However due to mankind breaking a religious restriction, people developed limited life-spans and eventually died. The...


Walu (Antelope Mask)

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The Dogon once believed that death did not exist, believing instead that immortal humans lived as serpents. However due to mankind breaking a religious restriction, people developed limited life-spans and eventually died. The...


Sim (Spirit Mask)

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The Dogon once believed that death did not exist, believing instead that immortal humans lived as serpents. However due to mankind breaking a religious restriction, people developed limited life-spans and eventually died. The...


Kanaga (Celestial Mask)

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The Dogon once believed that death did not exist, believing instead that immortal humans lived as serpents. However due to mankind breaking a religious restriction, people developed limited life-spans and eventually died. The...


Dege Dal Nda ('Sculptures of the Terrace' Figure)

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Unlike other Dogon figures, the dege dal nda (meaning ‘sculptures of the terrace’) are not believed to contain ancestor spirits. They are instead used for purely decorative purposes during the funeral of rich men....


Sirige ('Storied House' Mask)

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The Dogon once believed that death did not exist, believing instead that immortal humans lived as serpents. However due to mankind breaking a religious restriction, people developed limited life-spans and eventually died. The...


Wara (Great Mask)

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The Dogon once believed that death did not exist, believing instead that immortal humans lived as serpents. However due to mankind breaking a religious restriction, people developed limited life-spans and eventually died. The...


Singiti (Royal Ancestor Figure)

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Singiti (pl. lusingiti) figures are idealised and stylised depictions of deceased Hemba leaders. It is believed that the chief’s spirit inhabited the singiti figure and that ancestors are able to influence the success...


Singiti (Royal Ancestor Figure)

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Singiti (pl. lusingiti) figures are idealised and stylised depictions of deceased Hemba leaders. It is believed that the chief’s spirit inhabited the singiti figure and that ancestors are able to influence the success...


Singiti (Royal Ancestor Figure)

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Singiti (pl. lusingiti) figures are idealised and stylised depictions of deceased Hemba leaders. It is believed that the chief’s spirit inhabited the singiti figure and that ancestors are able to influence the success...


Nkisi (Power Figure)

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Nkisi, also referred to as nkishi (pl. minkisi / mankishi / zinkisi) is the general name for an object (wooden figures, clay pots, gourds or bundles) containing an empowering spirit(s).
An object only becomes an nkisi...


N'tomo (Ancestor Mask)

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The social, economic and spiritual lives of Bamana men, in Southwestern Mali, are governed by six initiation societies collectively known as Dyow (also called Jow sing. Dyo or Jo). The six societies are N’tomo (also...


Egungun (Ancestor Headdress)

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Egungun headdresses (not masks as these sit ON the head and not across the face) are used in conjunction with elaborate masquerade textile costumes to honour ancestors and to celebrate the positive influences of ancestral...


Lefem (Royal Ancestor Figure)

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The Bangwa of Cameroon are spread across nine independent kingdoms run by a central chief (fwa) and a number of secret societies responsible for the social rule of each kingdom. Fontem is the largest of these Bangwa chiefdoms...


Mbang (Royal Ancestor Figure)

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Like the Bangwa, the Kom of Cameroon are governed by a number of secret societies (including the Kwifon society) and run by a central chief (Fon).

Tradition dictates that each Fon much commission the creation of a...


Kpelie (Ancestor Mask)

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The social, economic and spiritual lives of Senufo men are governed by an overarching initiation society known as Poro. A Senufo man must pass through all stages of the initiation society to be considered a rounded man with...


Wanyugo (Funeral Helmet Mask)

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The wanyugo (also called wanyugu) mask, used by the Wabele society active within Southern Senufo sub-groups, functions mainly to detect and ward off the influences of witches, negative forces (dee bele) and bush spirits...


Epa (Ancestor Helmet Mask)

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Epa helmet masks are used to promote health and wellbeing within a community by celebrating and honouring ancestors, cultural heroes and important individuals (including mothers, priests, farmers, kings and hunters) within a...


Epa (Ancestor Helmet Mask)

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Epa helmet masks are used to promote health and wellbeing within a community by celebrating and honouring ancestors, cultural heroes and important individuals (including mothers, priests, farmers, kings and hunters) within a...


Epa (Ancestor Helmet Mask)

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Epa helmet masks are used to promote health and wellbeing within a community by celebrating and honouring ancestors, cultural heroes and important individuals (including mothers, priests, farmers, kings and hunters) within a...


Epa (Ancestor Helmet Mask)

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Epa helmet masks are used to promote health and wellbeing within a community by celebrating and honouring ancestors, cultural heroes and important individuals (including mothers, priests, farmers, kings and hunters) within a...


Epa (Ancestor Helmet Mask)

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Epa helmet masks are used to promote health and wellbeing within a community by celebrating and honouring ancestors, cultural heroes and important individuals (including mothers, priests, farmers, kings and hunters) within a...


Ndop (Royal Ancestor Figure)

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Ndop (meaning ‘statue’) figures are idealised and stylised depictions of deceased Kuba Bushoong leaders (Nyim). Opinions vary about the actual use of the figures. Some sources state that the figures were carved...


Bedu (Moon Plank Mask)

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Found among three main ethnic groups, the Nafana, the Kulango and the Degho, bedu masks (meaning ‘moon’) are believed to represent the physical manifestation of a domesticated buffalo-like spirit...


Muti Wa Lipito ('Head of the Lipiko' Helmet Mask)

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Worn during male and female initiation ceremonies (Likumbi), muti wa lipiko helmet masks (pl. mapiko meaning ‘head of the Lipiko’) are a visual representation of past ancestors. The masks are used to demonstrate...


Efe ('Joker' Headdress)

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The Efe ceremony is held annually in conjunction with the Gelede festival across western Yorubaland including the villages and cities Ketu, Egbado, Ohori, Anago and Awori. Before the Gelede festival takes place in the...


Efe ('Joker' Headdress)

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The Efe ceremony is held annually in conjunction with the Gelede festival across western Yorubaland including the villages and cities Ketu, Egbado, Ohori, Anago and Awori. Before the Gelede festival takes place in the...


Efe ('Joker' Headdress)

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The Efe ceremony is held annually in conjunction with the Gelede festival across western Yorubaland including the villages and cities Ketu, Egbado, Ohori, Anago and Awori. Before the Gelede festival takes place in the...


Efe ('Joker' Headdress)

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The Efe ceremony is held annually in conjunction with the Gelede festival across western Yorubaland including the villages and cities Ketu, Egbado, Ohori, Anago and Awori. Before the Gelede festival takes place in the...


Edjo Re Akare (Spirit Figure)

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The Urhobo believe that elements of nature such as land, forests, air and water contain spirits (called edjo) and these spirits are believed to hold power over nature and provide protection to a community from attack from...


Edjo Re Akare (Spirit Figure)

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The Urhobo believe that elements of nature such as land, forests, air and water contain spirits (called edjo) and these spirits are believed to hold power over nature and provide protection to a community from attack from...


Olumeye (Offering Bowl)

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Found predominantly in the towns of Ekiti and Igbomina, kneeling female figure bowls known as olumeye (meaning ‘one who brings/knows honour and respect’) are used by chiefs and kings (Oba) to present kola nut (obi)...


Phemba (Maternity Figure)

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Commonly viewed as maternity figures, phemba (also called pfemba meaning ‘the one who gives children in-potentia’1) are used to symbolise the fertility, growth, wealth, spiritual power and creativity of the entire...


Omolangidi (Child's Doll)

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Typically created by apprentices as their first carving, omolangidi (meaning ‘child of wood’) are Yoruba dolls carved as toys for young girls, who carry them on their backs held in place by a baby wrapper. As well...


Odo Sango (Sango Mortar)

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These pedestals, odo Sango, are found mostly in by the Igbomina and Ekiti tribes of North Eastern Yorubaland. Associated with the worship of the god of thunder and lightning, Sango, these inverted wood mortars are placed in...


Arugba Sango (Sango Shrine Bowl)

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These vessels, arugba Sango, are found mostly in by the Igbomina and Ekiti tribes of North Eastern Yorubaland. Arugba (meaning ‘bowl carrier’) Sango vessels are associated with the worship of the god of thunder and...


Chihongo (Spirit of Wealth Mask)

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Found amongst the Chokwe of Angola, these masculine masks (Chihongo, sometimes called Cihongo, meaning ‘spirit of wealth’) are used to symbolise wealth and power. The masqueraders wearing the mask pay homage to male...


Mwana Pwo (Young Woman Mask)

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Found amongst the Chokwe of Angola, these feminine masks (Pwo meaning ‘woman’ – an adult woman that has given birth and Mwana Pwo meaning ‘young woman’ – youthful, feminine beauty) are used to pay homage...


Mwanangana (Chief Figure)

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Similar to Chibinda Ilunga figures, Mwanangana (meaning ‘Lord of the Land’ / pl. Mianangana) figures are carved to represent village chiefs, reminding villagers about the power these chiefs possess as well as to represent...


Chibinda Ilunga (Royal Ancestor Figure)

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The Chokwe believe that the Luba prince, Chibinda (or Tshibinda) Ilunga married Lunba chief Lueji and taught the Lunda and Chokwe civility and the art of hunting. Carved by professional Chokwe artists, figures of Chibinda...


Akua'Ba (Fertility Figure)

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Akua’ba (pl. akua’ma; meaning ‘Akua’s children’) are small fertility figures found in shrines across Akanland. The Akan believe that, “the name akua’ba comes from the legend of a woman named Akua who was...


Akua'Ba (Fertility Figure)

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Akua’ba (pl. akua’ma; meaning ‘Akua’s children’) are small fertility figures found in shrines across Akanland. The Akan believe that, “the name akua’ba comes from the legend of a woman named Akua who was...


Akua’Ba (Fertility Figure)

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Akua’ba (pl. akua’ma; meaning ‘Akua’s children’) are small fertility figures found in shrines across Akanland. The Akan believe that, “the name akua’ba comes from the legend of a woman named Akua who was...


Uhunmwun Elao (Ancestral Memorial Head)

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Unlike the copper alloy heads cast for Oba and Iyoba ancestors, wooden heads (uhunmwun elao) are created to commemorate deceased, high ranking male chiefs of the Edo.

After a chief’s death, a large altar (a...


Agere Ifa (Divination Cup)

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The Yoruba typically turn to a babalawo (diviner) when seeking advice or faced with an illness. An agere Ifa is a object that forms part of the divination ensemble. It, along with an iroke Ifa, opon Ifa, palm nuts and a number...


Gelede (‘Mothers’ Headdress)

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Gelede headdresses (not masks as these sit ON the head and not across the face) are one of the few among the Yoruba to celebrate female forces. The headdresses, along with associated masquerade costumes, are used to promote...


Gelede (‘Mothers’ Headdress)

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Gelede headdresses (not masks as these sit ON the head and not across the face) are one of the few among the Yoruba to celebrate female forces. The headdresses, along with associated masquerade costumes, are used to promote...


Eyema Bieri (Reliquary Guardian Figure)

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As a migratory people, the Fang have the custom of gathering the bones & skulls of deceased chiefs and important community members (together with magical substances) into cylindrical bark containers, instead of burying...


Eyema Bieri (Reliquary Guardian Figure)

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As a migratory people, the Fang have the custom of gathering the bones & skulls of deceased chiefs and important community members (together with magical substances) into cylindrical bark containers, instead of burying...


Eyema Bieri (Reliquary Guardian Figure)

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As a migratory people, the Fang have the custom of gathering the bones & skulls of deceased chiefs and important community members (together with magical substances) into cylindrical bark containers, instead of burying...


Eyema Bieri (Reliquary Guardian Figure)

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As a migratory people, the Fang have the custom of gathering the bones & skulls of deceased chiefs and important community members (together with magical substances) into cylindrical bark containers, instead of burying...


Eyema Bieri (Reliquary Guardian Figure)

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As a migratory people, the Fang have the custom of gathering the bones & skulls of deceased chiefs and important community members (together with magical substances) into cylindrical bark containers, instead of burying...


Eyema Bieri (Reliquary Guardian Figure)

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As a migratory people, the Fang have the custom of gathering the bones & skulls of deceased chiefs and important community members (together with magical substances) into cylindrical bark containers, instead of burying...


Thilbou Fi Hin (Enemy Protection Bateba)

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The Lobi believe that the universe was created by the god Tangba, under which sit a number of deities and spirits called Thila (sing. Thil). Under these Thila are the spirits of the bush, Kontuossi, after which human beings...


Bateba Yadawura (Sad Mourning Bateba)

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The Lobi believe that the universe was created by the god Tangba, under which sit a number of deities and spirits called Thila (sing. Thil). Under these Thila are the spirits of the bush, Kontuossi, after which human beings...


Bateba Duntundara (Witch Protection Figure)

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The Lobi believe that the universe was created by the god Tangba, under which sit a number of deities and spirits called Thila (sing. Thil). Under these Thila are the spirits of the bush, Kontuossi, after which human beings...


Bateba Duntundara (Witch Protection Figure)

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The Lobi believe that the universe was created by the god Tangba, under which sit a number of deities and spirits called Thila (sing. Thil). Under these Thila are the spirits of the bush, Kontuossi, after which human beings...


Bateba Duntundara (Witch Protection Figure)

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The Lobi believe that the universe was created by the god Tangba, under which sit a number of deities and spirits called Thila (sing. Thil). Under these Thila are the spirits of the bush, Kontuossi, after which human beings...


Chi Wara (Antelope Headdress)

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The social, economic and spiritual lives of Bamana men, in Southwestern Mali, are governed by six initiation societies collectively known as dyow (sing. dyo). The six societies are n’domo, komo, nama, kono, chi wara and...


Chi Wara (Antelope Headdress)

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The social, economic and spiritual lives of Bamana men, in Southwestern Mali, are governed by six initiation societies collectively known as dyow (sing. dyo). The six societies are n’domo, komo, nama, kono, chi wara and...


Chi Wara (Antelope Headdress)

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The social, economic and spiritual lives of Bamana men, in Southwestern Mali, are governed by six initiation societies collectively known as dyow (sing. dyo). The six societies are n’domo, komo, nama, kono, chi wara and...


Ekine (Water Spirit Headdress)

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Found amongst the Southern Yoruba of Ijebu, these headdresses are used for the masquerade cult known as Agbo, Magbo or Ekine (meaning ‘dancing people’ in Ijo), which pay homage to Olokun, goddess of the sea as well...


Ekine (Water Spirit Headdress)

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Found amongst the Southern Yoruba of Ijebu, these headdresses are used for the masquerade cult known as Agbo, Magbo or Ekine (meaning ‘dancing people’ in Ijo), which pay homage to Olokun, goddess of the sea as well...


Ekine (Water Spirit Headdress)

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Found amongst the Southern Yoruba of Ijebu, these headdresses are used for the masquerade cult known as Agbo, Magbo or Ekine (meaning ‘dancing people’ in Ijo), which pay homage to Olokun, goddess of the sea as well...


Ikenga (‘Right Hand’ Altar Figure)

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These figures, ikenga (meaning ‘place of strength’), are found across Igboland and are associated with the worship of one’s right hand, aka ikenga (the Igbo believe that the right hand represents a male’s...


Ikenga (‘Right Hand’ Altar Figure)

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These figures, ikenga (meaning ‘place of strength’), are found across Igboland and are associated with the worship of one’s right hand, aka ikenga (the Igbo believe that the right hand represents a male’s...


Ikenga (‘Right Hand’ Altar Figure)

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These figures, ikenga (meaning ‘place of strength’), are found across Igboland and are associated with the worship of one’s right hand, aka ikenga (the Igbo believe that the right hand represents a male’s...


Ikenga (‘Right Hand’ Altar Figure)

Tagged:

These figures, ikenga (meaning ‘place of strength’), are found across Igboland and are associated with the worship of one’s right hand, aka ikenga (the Igbo believe that the right hand represents a male’s...


Ikenga (‘Right Hand’ Altar Figure)

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These figures, ikenga (meaning ‘place of strength’), are found across Igboland and are associated with the worship of one’s right hand, aka ikenga (the Igbo believe that the right hand represents a male’s...


Opon Ifa (Divination Tray)

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The Yoruba typically turn to a babalawo (diviner) when seeking advice or faced with an illness. An opon Ifa is a object that forms part of the divination ensemble. It, along with an iroke Ifa, agere Ifa, palm nuts and a number...


Ose Sango (Sango Staff)

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Originally created for the court of kings in Oyo, ose Sango (sometimes spelt oshe Shango) staffs quickly spread to other sub-groups within the Yorubaland. Associated with the worship of the god of thunder and lightning,...


Ogo Elegba (Esu Staff)

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Esu (also called Eshu, Elegba) is believed to be the messenger of Yoruba gods, bearer of sacrifices, guardian of the ritual way of life and often also seen as the ‘trickster god’. If Esu isn’t properly honoured, trouble...


Bugle (War Mask)

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The Dan believe that ‘in’ and behind’ this world exists an essential force called dü which is usually described as a power that is present in all aspects of the world. Dü manifests itself as...


Kagle (Animal Mask)

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The Dan believe that ‘in’ and behind’ this world exists an essential force called dü which is usually described as a power that is present in all aspects of the world. Dü manifests itself as...


Gägon (Bird Mask)

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The Dan believe that ‘in’ and behind’ this world exists an essential force called dü which is usually described as a power that is present in all aspects of the world. Dü manifests itself as...


Wunkirmian (Feast Spoon)

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Wunkirmian (also called wake mia) spoons are brought out during important feasts and ceremonies and awarded to the women in the village considered to be the most generous and hospitable. The selected woman...


Wunkirmian (Feast Spoon)

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Wunkirmian (also called wake mia) spoons are brought out during important feasts and ceremonies and awarded to the women in the village considered to be the most generous and hospitable. The selected woman...


Wunkirmian (Feast Spoon)

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Wunkirmian (also called wake mia) spoons are brought out during important feasts and ceremonies and awarded to the women in the village considered to be the most generous and hospitable. The selected woman...


Lü Me ('Wooden Person' Female Figure)

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Commissioned by powerful chiefs as 3-dimensional portraits of favourite wives, lü me figures can also sometimes function as maternity figures with babies carved on their backs. Once carving of the figure...


Bagle (Dancing Mask)

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The Dan believe that ‘in’ and behind’ this world exists an essential force called dü which is usually described as a power that is present in all aspects of the world. Dü manifests itself as...


Zakpai (Fire Prevention Mask)

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The Dan believe that ‘in’ and behind’ this world exists an essential force called dü which is usually described as a power that is present in all aspects of the world. Dü manifests itself as...


Gunyege (Racing Mask)

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The Dan believe that ‘in’ and behind’ this world exists an essential force called dü which is usually described as a power that is present in all aspects of the world. Dü manifests itself as...


Tankagle (Entertainment Mask)

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The Dan believe that ‘in’ and behind’ this world exists an essential force called dü which is usually described as a power that is present in all aspects of the world. Dü manifests itself as...


Deangle (Circumcision Camp Mask)

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The Dan believe that ‘in’ and behind’ this world exists an essential force called dü which is usually described as a power that is present in all aspects of the world. Dü manifests itself as...


Ere Ibeji (Twin Figure)

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Amongst the Yoruba, twins are regarded as extraordinary beings protected by the god, Sango. It is believed that twins are spiritually one inseparable being and as such, should a twin die, a statuette (ere ibeji) is made to be...


Ere Ibeji (Twin Figure)

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Amongst the Yoruba, twins are regarded as extraordinary beings protected by the god, Sango. It is believed that twins are spiritually one inseparable being and as such, should a twin die, a statuette (ere ibeji) is made to be...


Ere Ibeji (Twin Figure)

Tagged:

Amongst the Yoruba, twins are regarded as extraordinary beings protected by the god, Sango. It is believed that twins are spiritually one inseparable being and as such, should a twin die, a statuette (ere ibeji) is made to be...


Ere Ibeji (Twin Figure)

Tagged:

Amongst the Yoruba, twins are regarded as extraordinary beings protected by the god, Sango. It is believed that twins are spiritually one inseparable being and as such, should a twin die, a statuette (ere ibeji) is made to be...


Ere Ibeji (Twin Figure)

Tagged:

Amongst the Yoruba, twins are regarded as extraordinary beings protected by the god, Sango. It is believed that twins are spiritually one inseparable being and as such, should a twin die, a statuette (ere ibeji) is made to be...


Ere Ibeji (Twin Figure)

Tagged:

Amongst the Yoruba, twins are regarded as extraordinary beings protected by the god, Sango. It is believed that twins are spiritually one inseparable being and as such, should a twin die, a statuette (ere ibeji) is made to be...


Ere Ibeji (Twin Figure)

Tagged:

Amongst the Yoruba, twins are regarded as extraordinary beings protected by the god, Sango. It is believed that twins are spiritually one inseparable being and as such, should a twin die, a statuette (ere ibeji) is made to be...


Ere Ibeji (Twin Figure)

Tagged:

Amongst the Yoruba, twins are regarded as extraordinary beings protected by the god, Sango. It is believed that twins are spiritually one inseparable being and as such, should a twin die, a statuette (ere ibeji) is made to be...


Ere Ibeji (Twin Figure)

Tagged:

Amongst the Yoruba, twins are regarded as extraordinary beings protected by the god, Sango. It is believed that twins are spiritually one inseparable being and as such, should a twin die, a statuette (ere ibeji) is made to be...


Ere Ibeji (Twin Figure)

Tagged:

Amongst the Yoruba, twins are regarded as extraordinary beings protected by the god, Sango. It is believed that twins are spiritually one inseparable being and as such, should a twin die, a statuette (ere ibeji) is made to be...


Ere Ibeji (Twin Figure)

Tagged:

Amongst the Yoruba, twins are regarded as extraordinary beings protected by the god, Sango. It is believed that twins are spiritually one inseparable being and as such, should a twin die, a statuette (ere ibeji) is made to be...


Ere Ibeji (Twin Figure)

Tagged:

Amongst the Yoruba, twins are regarded as extraordinary beings protected by the god, Sango. It is believed that twins are spiritually one inseparable being and as such, should a twin die, a statuette (ere ibeji) is made to be...


Ere Ibeji (Twin Figure)

Tagged:

Amongst the Yoruba, twins are regarded as extraordinary beings protected by the god, Sango. It is believed that twins are spiritually one inseparable being and as such, should a twin die, a statuette (ere ibeji) is made to be...


Nkisi (Power Figure)

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Nkisi, also referred to as nkishi (pl. minkisi / mankishi / zinkisi) is the general name for an object containing a spirit(s). Typically, each community will have a central nkisi figure as will individuals within that...


Nkisi (Power Figure)

Tagged:

Nkisi, also referred to as nkishi (pl. minkisi / mankishi / zinkisi) is the general name for an object containing a spirit(s). Typically, each community will have a central nkisi figure as will individuals...


Nkisi (Power Figure)

Tagged:

Nkisi, also referred to as nkishi (pl. minkisi / mankishi / zinkisi) is the general name for an object containing a spirit(s). Typically, each community will have a central nkisi figure as will individuals...


Nkisi (Power Figure)

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Nkisi, also referred to as nkishi (pl. minkisi / mankishi / zinkisi) is the general name for an object containing a spirit(s). Typically, each community will have a central nkisi figure as will individuals...


Osanmasinmi (Ram’s Head Altarpiece)

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Primarily found in the Owo region of Yorubaland, carved ram’s heads / or human heads with horns (osanmasinmi) adorn ancestral altars and shrines (ojupo) of royals, chiefs and Yoruba leaders. Osanmasinmi heads honour...


Cisakulo (Comb)

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Combs (cisakulo) were used to detangle, style and decorate the hair of Chokwe men and women (however according to Marie-Louise Bastin, only men used combs to style their headdresses).1

Cisakulo...


Ngundja (Ceremonial Chair)

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Through early encounters with Portuguese traders (the start of which dates back to 16th / 17th century) European artefacts heavily influenced the design of royal artefacts and household utensils.

An...