The Ijo people settled in the Niger River Delta
where fish were in abundance, providing them with their principal
means of sustenance.
Ijo carvers made horizontal headresses called
‘Otojo’, which represented water spirits.
The masks were worn
horizontally, so that when the wearer walked in the water to appease the
spirit, the mask appeared to float and depicted the movements of an
aquatic creature floating across the surface.
With its face directed towards
the sky the mask was performed for an audience which was thought to
include both spirits and men.
Ex. McConnell collection
Length: 30 ½”
Width: 9 ¾”
Depth: 9 ⅜” incl. bird on top