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    Description

    Igbo (Nigeria)
    Mgbedlike Mask
    Wood, pigment
    Height: 32 ½ inches Width: 14 inches Depth: 16 inches

    This magnificent combination of aggressive imagery and inevitable-seeming spiraling forms exemplifies Igbo carving at its best. "Men chosen to embody such spirits are known, as the spirit is, for strength and endurance. This task, as the Igbo put it, is 'the heavy load the community has placed on one's head'. Maskers and escorts ... go out in the name of the village as a whole. Not infrequently they encounter competition from similar troupes from other villages, each vying for supremacy. These are tests of medicinal strength and the mystical powers of spirits, ancestors, and the deep forests they inhabit. The masquerades ... create a spectacular display that seems to recall the collective strength of village segments marshaling, in earlier times, for war" (Herbert M. Cole and Chike C. Aniakor. Igbo Arts Community and Cosmos. Los Angeles: Museum of Cultural History, University of California, Los Angeles, 1984, p.131). Although fiercely toothed and capped with multiple horns, the face also bears the balancing, civilizing signs of the rank-designating ichi forehead and temple striations and the representation of a forehead band of cowry shells. The crossed, Janus-fronted animals add another power source, as must also the nine small heads around the side and rear neck area. Repeated use has left abrasions and paint loss, and a number of components were broken and reglued. There is also a minor overall age crack system.

    Provenance: Ex. East Coast collection
    Pace Primitive
    Property of a US collector



    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. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    7th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,011

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