STATUETTE EKET - NIGERIA
This Igbo statue is know in vernacular language as an ogbom headdress. A woman is figured seated on a stool with two arms raised above her head with marked elbows. She is holding a platter on top of which stands two stylized birds.
The upper torso of the figure shows two round breasts decorated with circle at the tip. The wrists are adorned with coiled rings that represent bracelets.
The round head of the female figure is held by a thick neck. It shows a large forehead with keloids markings on its center and on the temples.
The lower part of the face presents a thin detailed nose and a slightly protruding mouth.
The headdress used to be worn by the dancer with a basket. It was worn during the annual fertility rite for the earth deity Ala. A colorful costume made of raffia, cloth and feathers would cover the Ide Ogbom conical basket. The dancer was covered with a white coloured woven cloth. Bells are tied on his head and ankles.
When they would not dance the headdress were kept in the owner’s hut. The smoke of the household fire gives a black and thick patina. When they were taken out to dance they were painted with earth colours and decorated with body painting designs called uri.
Bende-igbo headdress were all represented as female figure seated with arm raised holding a platter. Most of them carry another head on the top but this Ogbom headdress is one of the only one known with two birds on its top.