Lot: 258

94th Tribal Art Auction

Anthropomorphic headdress

Nigeria, Ibibio / Efik or Efut

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
French Collection H: 15.4 inch 3000 EUR
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, hide, grass fibre, nails, the four lateral braids separately worked, tears/ missing parts (animal skin), insect caused damage, rep. The Ejagham and the other Cross River groups, formerly summarized under the ethnonym Ekoi, all used these skin-covered headdresses. An exact assignment to a particular ethnic group is therefore difficult. The headdresses were danced among others by the "ngbe" society, an all-male association, which can be considered the oldest secret society in the Cross River region. The "ngbe" leopard society functioned as a kind of unifying institution for the scattered ethnic groups of the Cross River area. The present crest is female, the elaborate hairstyle with twelve plaits evokes the hairdo of young newly initiated girls, who were about to get married.