A Rare African Middle Cross River South East Nigeria Ejagham peoples sacred reliquary skull

A Rare African Middle Cross River South East Nigeria Ejagham peoples sacred reliquary
skull
19th Century
Size: 16.5 cm high, 17 cm wide, 20 cm deep – 6½ ins high, 6¼ ins wide, 8 ins deep
The reliquary is made from the skull of a species of west African baboon, the Mandrill
( Papio Sphinx ), hunted for food in the Cross River equatorial rain forest.
The all male 'ngbe' ( meaning leopard ) society of the Ejagham people is the oldest secret society in the Cross River region. Their lodges are usually the most impressive structure in the community and here secret meetings are held and secret objects stored. Animal skulls bound or fringed with raffia such as this together with horns, sacred objects, drums, ropes and sticks are prominently displayed inside the lodge. The skulls are the remains of animals eaten in rituals within the lodge and are highly symbolic.

A Rare African Middle Cross River South East Nigeria Ejagham peoples sacred reliquary skull

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ENQUIRIES

+44 (0) 207 689 7500

+44 (0)7836 684133
+44 (0)7768 236921

enquiries@finch-and-co.co.uk