Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Ibibio (Nigeria)
    Idiok Ekpo Mask with Hinged Jaw
    Wood, fiber, nails
    Height:13 ¾ inches Width: 6 7/8 inches Depth: 5 1/8 inches

    The Ekpo masquerade is widespread among eastern Nigerian groups, especially along the Cross River. Among the Ibibio it is used to present ethical examples essential to effective social functioning and interaction. One group of masks deals with socially negative qualities and with the spirits of persons who have either died in socially unacceptable ways or who have violated codes or laws. These are known as idiok ekpo (evil souls), and are represented with masks which embody ugliness, distortions, or violence as the Ibibio would characterize it visually. Contrasting masks present positive souls, which are represented by masks whose forms are considered beautiful, and therefore good. This powerful example in a way transcends stereotypes: while it distorts features and embodies aggression, its forms are exceptionally integrated and sculpturally elegant. An almost identical mask is illustrated in Marcilene K. Wittmer and William Arnett, Three Rivers of Nigeria (Atlanta: The High Museum of Art, 1978), p.72, fig.172.

    There is old insect damage at all edges, with some rodent gnawing at top rear. Both horns were broken off and indigenously reattached. There is much old use wear.

    Provenance: John Buxton, Dallas
    John Paynter, Dallas

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    7th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,982

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold on Jun 7, 2007 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 October 15 Prints & Multiples Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    My sincere thanks and appreciation for the professionalism in handling, promoting, and selling my painting.
    David H.,
    Dallas, TX
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search