Ekpo mask

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Mfon Ekpo masks, 1940s
Africa, Nigeria, Cross River, Efik people

Donated by Mrs A S Arnot, 1953
Museum number 1953-64-55

Mfon ekpo or beautiful ancestor masks were worn by dancers of the ekpo society. The masks represented the souls of people whose life on earth was productive and morally upstanding. During important celebrations, such as the annual yam harvest, members imitated ancestors who were believed to have briefly returned to the world of the living. Their positive influence was an example to the community.

Ekpo mask
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