Large Ghana Mask – large
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African mask – Ashanti Odikro (Chief) Mask


SKU: MK3050 Categories: ,

Product Description

This beautifully handcrafted Odikro (Chief) mask originated from the Akan tribe in Ghana. The major ethnic group of the Akan is the Ashanti tribe. The Ashanti’s are well known for their wealth as they occupied a vast densely forested territory in Ghana that was rich in natural minerals and metals such as gold. The tribe that designed this mask were steeped in supernatural beliefs, so much so that within their political infrastructure there were fetish priests called Okomfo who were seen as being particularly powerful in dealing with problems related to witchcraft, and within this situation cowrie shells were used as it was believed that amongst other things, they had the power of protection. Cowrie shells were also used on ritual masks, which in turn were used in masquerades. The dancer (wearer of the mask) would go into deep trance, and during this state of mind he would “communicate” with his ancestors. A wise man or translator would sometimes accompany the wearer of the mask during the ritual. The dancer would bring forth messages of wisdom from his ancestors. Often the messages were grunted utterances and the translator would translate the message. It was usually at this point that the spirits of the ancestor would interact with the world of the living and become agents in rites of passage, rituals of birth, death, marriage, fertility and transformation into adulthood. It can be seen that masks such as the Odikro mask played important roles in the Ashanti community.

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