A rather splendid and dramatic crocodile mask is from the Ijo people of the Nile Delta. The Ijo have a great affinity with water They are related to the founders of the Great Nile Valley civilization complex (and possibly the lake Chad complex). They immigrated to West Africa from the Nile-Valley during antiquity.

The crocodile is revered as a water spirit which they believe are like humans in having personal strengths and shortcomings and that humans dwell among the water spirits before being born.

Traditionally, the Ijaws hold celebrations to honour the spirits, lasting for several days. And the highlight the festival is the role of masquerades.

Here, men wearing elaborate outfits and carved masks dance to the beat of drums and manifest the influence of the water spirits through the quality and intensity of their dancing.

Particularly spectacular masqueraders are taken to actually be in the possession of the particular spirits on whose behalf they are dancing.


There is a repair to the top of the tail. It is supplied with a stand. Height w/o stand 63 cms/25 ins. Width 13 cms/ 5 ins. This is an authentic tribally used item, perfect for starting a collection.

Crocodile Mask, Nigeria

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