Dance headdress

Igbo peoples
mid–20th century
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General Description

This complex headdress is carved in the form of an oche, or seat for the spirits, with several human and animal references. The spikes at the top and projections from the sides of the oche symbolize a dynamic state of being. The human faces may represent trophy heads, which for the Igbo connote achievement, and the birds may be messengers to the spirit world. The costume that was worn with this headdress and the context for the masquerade are not known.