Igbo Ijele Mask

This article about the Igbo ijele Mask really helped me to grasp an understanding of the importance of the mask in African societies. The whole construction of the mask relates to the Igbo people and their environment. The brightness of the artistic mask shows the ‘resources of Igbo wall painting’ and the skills they possess in creating it. The mask artistically shows the ideal of authority and grants respect to the founding fathers and the ancestors of the Igbo people. ‘Rarity is regarded as an attribute of greatness’ and the mask obtains this attribute by only appearing every 25 years.  It also shocks me the size of the mask being as large 6 metres high. Ijele is a leading spirit. the mask serves to ignite the people in their pride and in their sense of historical community with the ancestors. Beauty is related to size and social status, therefore Ijele embodies the best of Igbo art. ‘the expensive mask’. It really is a beautiful celebration of a communities history.


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