African Maiden Spirit Helmet Mask Agbogho Mmwo Igbo Nigeria

African Maiden Spirit Helmet Mask Agbogho Mmwo Igbo Nigeria

SKU: T76

A spectacular authentic, Early to mid-20th century, or older, African maiden spirit helmet mask "agbogho mmwo" from the Igbo people of Nigeria, used by the male Mmwo secret society. Agbogho mmwo helmet masks (also called agbogho monnwu, or, ikorodo, meaning ‘maiden spirit mask’). Extremely well carved from one piece of wood, with crisp facial features, long narrow face, slit eyes with arching eyebrows, narrow protruding nose; thin-lipped closed mouth and small ears, scarification on cheeks and forehead. The top topped by elaborate openwork coiffures construction, with a tall central ridge. Polychrome with ocher brown, black, beige white kaolin pigments. Coiffures highlighted with red and blue paint (Most likely added later). The bottom edge encircled with a series of pierced small holes to attach strings, or cloth. The hollowed interior with areas of wear at places where contact was made with wearer’s head.


Agbogho mmwo, or "maiden spirit," masks are worn by men at festivals that honor important deities. They represent the Igbo ideal of female beauty: small, balanced features, elaborate hairstyles, and delicate tattoos. The men who dance agbogho mmwo masks wear colorful, tight-fitting fiber costumes, entertaining the crowd with exaggerated versions of women's dances.


The quality of this mask matches the masks in the collection of The Brooklyn Museum and The Michael C. Carlos Museum.


Please see the link below:



Link to the related Igbo Mask Helmet sold In Leland Little Auction



DIMENSIONS: Overall length: 40 cm (15.75 inches). Height: 38 cm (14.96 inches).Width: 23 cm (9.06 inches).


CONDITION: Showing the age and usage with wear, scratches, and old patina, some age cracks.


Colors may differ slightly with items in pictures, due to lighting conditions, and color settings of different computers.