X73.381 Mask

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Possible Nwe-e mask of the Ekpo Society
Ogoni peoples
Wood, pigment, kaolin, plant fiber, and cord
H: 40 cm, W: 13.3 cm (H: 15.7 in, W: 5.2 in)
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum Purchase. X73.381


In some areas, a bloodthirsty character known as Nwe-e, “The executioner,” appears in Ekpo masquerades, which the Ogoni borrowed from their neighbors, Ekpo masks bring the dead to life, including the ghosts of those who have led disreputable lives. The executioner usually wears a small white face mask, slashes at plantain stands, and calls on the rest of the maskers to complete the destruction.

Source:Anderson, Martha G. and Peek, Philip M. ed. (2002): “Ways of the Rivers: Arts and Environment of the Niger Delta”‚ Los Angeles, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. page 286