Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives The first artwork examined was a headdress, located from Calabar, Nigeria. The main type of artwork was a combination of masks with ancestor worship that was a part of the rituals based in the region. This came specifically from the use of the mask, which was often a part of the play created known as “Ikim.” The “Ikim” play was used to create an understanding of all of one heart and one mind…
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The artist that was a part of the development of the headdress is unknown with the main link being to the ancient tribes of Nigeria and of the Ejagham cultural group. The place that the headdress was made was cross river and is only recognized with the name of being a headdress. The material that is combined with this is inclusive of wood, metal, bone, rattan, animal skin and paint. The final dimensions include a height of 67 centimeters, width of 36 centimeters and dimension of 56 centimeters. The headdress was found in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in which it was brought to a trust and was displayed in recognition of the ancient rituals and adornment that was closely associated with the African rituals and artwork used. The meaning of the artwork continues with the basic purpose of using the piece with the play. This is based on the overall look of the mask, which includes a smaller head with the top adornment of horns. There are two main horns in the back that are circular in form and moving upward as well as one main adornment in the middle that moves upward than circles around. This creates a labyrinth to the main mask and headgear. When wearing this, one was expected to be able to call on the ancestors and to connect with others through both heart and mind. There was also the ability for the individual to create direct links with the drama of the connection and how this could link to other representations that were associated with the mask. The iconography of the circles and horns created this connection as well as the movement into the divine that was considered a part of the work. The identity and significance then followed with the understanding that this was used for the specific play to link individuals together with the past and the present while creating a different identity for the needs that were a part of worship. This was combined with the syncretism, specifically with the younger women that associated with the mask and held it in favor to connect to others within the tribe and from other generations. The importance of this particular headdress is one which may be associated with deeper meanings in terms of the symbolism that is a part of the work. The three horns are the main representation that may link to the significance of beliefs during this time. All are created with specific shapes and forms. The symbolism is one which is established with the understanding of how individuals link to worship. The movement up that is a part of the headdress and the center piece being a labyrinth shows the maze that many go through to move to a higher place of worship. This particular symbol is one which is commonly used in different traditions and regions, creating a different understanding of the work and how it is used within worship. This may further with cultural beliefs that are a part of the worship, specifically with the accepted symbols and ideologies that are within the social area and the link which this has to how one can attain a higher state of worship. The second artwork that was used was a figure that
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