TITLE: Ogoni Mask
GENERAL REGION: Africa
CEREMONY: Adult Initiation; Secret Society
MAIN MATERIAL: wood
OTHER MATERIALS: kaolin clay; plant fiber; natural pigment
The Ogoni people have managed to maintain much of their precolonial culture, including their masquerading traditions. Masks are used by the Ogoni for many purposes. Some are reserved for members of secret societies having varying social ranks. Others are mainly for entertainment. This mask has an articulated jaw to make the mask look like it is talking while being danced. It would be used in a ritual for initiation of girls into adulthood by a secret society.