Eket Ibibio Marionette Puppet Replica
The large Ibibio people live in southeastern Nigeria, between the Delta and the Cross River. The southern part of that area is inhabited by the Eket Ibibio. The social life of the Ibibio is determined by various secret societies. The key is the Ekpo (literally ancestor), consisting of a wealthy elite that determines the political and religious life. In exercising their functions, the members wear beautiful masks. Once every seven years, they organize an exuberant music and theater festival.
These types of wooden African statues are used as puppets. In the original, the marionette had arms attached to the body with a pin so that they can move. Like the other images of the Ibibio, they are characterized by rounded shapes and a long row of teeth bared. Representations like these of evil spirits can be very frightening.
This replica reminds one of other primitive deity statues such as Polynesian Tiki Gods. He has a wide smile grimace and bubbled eyes.