Igala, Nigeria

Mirror Case

20th Century


Gift of George and Nancy Ellis


In Igala culture, mirrors represent a powerful force, usually related to fetish figures and magic. Often, the “medicine”—ground up bone, teeth, claws, leaves, hair, or blood imbued with magic properties—is stored behind the mirror (here, the mirror no longer exists). The figure wears the crested headdress of the Igala people, with ritual scarification on each cheek.

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