Ibo, Igbo or Igala from Nigeria

aaaMystrySolvd-520nQ: I won this at a Harrisburg, PA auction of collectibles the ex-mayor bought with city funds for a proposed tourist attraction.  The Harrisburg mayor also used the city funds to buy some African and Pre-Columbian items.  25 inches tall, flecked with gold paint mostly worn off, there is also braided rope which is in good shape and the three braids are covered at the ends with roughly 10 inch pieces of leather.

I don’t know if this mask was made for market, or even if it’s really from Africa (the auction info consisted solely of the description “African Carved Helmet Mask”. At the price I paid, though ($125.), I feel that even if it’s a knock-off it’s a darned nice one.  Jerry, 520

A:  I agree with your assessment. It is from either the Ibo, Igbo or Igala from the same part of Nigeria. Looks old and worn, but I can’t determine if that wear is natural or man-made. Either way it’s a large, handsome piece that will be an excellent addition to most African mask collections. Also, congratulations on helping your city get a little of its money back.  B

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