K8E9M064.jpg (48227 bytes)Eket, Nigeria

Ceremonial headdress.  The Eket are an Ibibio subgroup of farmers who do not fish, unlike the Ekoi, their Cross River neighbors. The members of the ekpo society play a political, judiciary, and religion role in the village. It is a graded association in charge of the ancestor cult. The ekpo society uses several types of masks and headdresses. During the annual ceremony, young people personify the spirits, who have momentarily returned to the world of living. The Eket celebrated the goddess of the earth, spouse of the god of heaven and source of fertility and fecundity. The circular shape of this headdress may contain references to the full moon, and the four lunate forms about the border to new moons. According to one source, the lunar symbolism is important among the the Eket.

Material:  wood

Size:   H. 15”, W. 10”, D. 4”