Elu Mask
Ogoni Tribe, Nigeria
Wood, kaolin pigment, rattan

H: 8.5"
Inventory # 10363

The Ogoni people live in a fertile area to the east of the Niger delta, and they have retained a vital, regionally varied masquerading culture that is in part deeply rooted in their own tradition, and in part adopted from neighboring ethnic groups such as the Ibibio and Ijo. The elu mask’s small size does not prevent it from being worn, for it was attached to a hood of textiles and plant fibers, which covered the head of the costumed masquerader. Elu masks were most frequently performed during the weeklong celebrations held in connection with the yam harvest (dua). 

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