Headdress Depicting a Fish, 1800s-1900s, Wood, pigments
Unknown artist, Ijo culture, Nigeria
With great imagination, an artist combined a fish body with a crocodile head to create this fantastic mask. For Ijo (pronounced ee-JAW) people of the Niger River delta, it represents a powerful water spirit. The Ijo, who are traders and fishermen, credit their prosperity to their ability to control such dangerous spirits.