zondag 11 februari 2018

Things coming together, modern and old, tribal art, Ikenga’s, and Maidenmasks the Igbo from Nigeria. Concept by Madrason


Things coming together, modern and old, tribal art, Ikenga’s, and Maidenmasks the Igbo from Nigeria. Concept by Madrason


He told me he was almost stoned and beaten to death, for his wife accused him not to give him children, therefore he was not a man! After many years of mediation they casted him out!
There in the mud, face down, he was left for dead. The Igbo elders had spoken, he could not be changed (for in fact he was a homosexual, and this is a non-existant in Igbo country) a local CEO from an ** company found and helped him getting back on his feet again. Now here in the Netherlands I was trying to guide him -for the Dutch Refugee council- during his application for asylum, through his asylum procedure.

 Igbo Statuette looking like the Okonkwo on the etching of Bruce Onobrakpeya

When I acquainted myself to him and explained what my aim was, for aiding him that day and if he would agree. He agreed. He started to slowly tell me, bit by bit, about his past in Nigeria. I asked him, “do you know Chinua Achebe” and he replied proudly, “Things falling apart!” Now I am reading Arrow of God. What struck him was not an arrow from God, maybe the CEO guy who helped him flee and nursed him back to health was the arrow. I was in a position to be able to be of some help that day, for this special person. This is my job and I am greatful for that. My hobby is writing for positive awareness, statements on blogs and poetry too. Collecting ethnographic art is the other one. That very same day that I had spoken with this Igbo man, I found an etching, of which many months later, I only became to realize, was the hero Okonkwo himself, sketched by -the inventor of this alufoiletching techninique- professor Onobrakpeya . This professor knew Chinua personaly, they where artisian friends and the leading artsits top of the West coast of Africa, esp. Nigeria.

part of the etching esp the face


Only later I took the etching under the magnifying glass and read to discover, “Okonkwo”, the professors name and the number of the etching. What struck me was that I had already acquired an Igbo statue from past collections of the Museum for Africa, Berg &Dal. This face and the face of the Okonkwo etching seemed to be twins. I guess that the professor - like Chinua- took his culture highly and tried to teach-promote about the cultural identity of the Igbo by incorparating it into writing and into modern art!

The face of the statue was that of an ancestor, only it was a monkey like face, more or less baboon alike. And the hairdo was the simalar like the one portrayed and carved on Igbo Maiden masks, with on to rotan woven hair into the forms of arches, tree to two in climbing rows on top of their heads vertically.Wow, from Okonkwo the wrestler -and to become a leader of some Igbo tribal area- to the ethongraphic art and rite, the Netherlands and Igbo-Nigeria, past and present fusing. And the place and time, an Igbo refugee, me and my poetry and feeling for tribal art, and the statuette and the etching? Could this be a coincidence?
I decided that in line of Chinua, right here in place and time; things came together after they fell apart! M

Passion is cosmic and nothing can stop it’s kernel, it helps to become universal, a homo universalensis. M










Homo universalensis


I do not look at thee
as if upon a honeybee
afraid if thy might sting
but rather as a cherrytree
that blossoms in the spring
you are not man nor woman
but of them all first human


a flower to be admired
a light desiring to be fired
your heart is beating at my door

in room 3, four or five
you jumped into my life
and pumped your virtues through
a Golden Bough to do
it is my deepest plight
here on my knees I might
bow seven times for
je t'aime and je t'adore
you and you, yes you.........

Madrason 15-04-2009


The ones with amassed good chi could become the returners. The alusi spirits, communicated with folk and this mainly through priests and or Ikenga housaltars/shrines which guided the Igbo in everyday life’s decisions. The maiden masks with the crested tripartite hairdo’s were a sign of prowess and also to appease their ancestral spirits. Though worn by men, while representing the uttermost feminine Igbo esthetics, they were regarded as the upper power, esteem and beauty of women, to honour their strength -scarification tattoos-, their beauty ;elaborate decoration and care in balanced design and the well chosen colours applied.

The statuette holding the hands outwards, seems to imply, welcoming and openness, to stand to receive without fear (like Okonkwo finally did with the unavoidable changes, coming from the colonisers) that which is coming. The face is showing similarity with the maiden Igbomasks. Here one can see that in fact bodily it is a representation of a strong man wearing a maiden alike mask! Which is confirming the fact that men wore these maiden masks in honour of their women and the tribes’ fertility, strength and fearlessness.

In the work Okonkwo, professor Onobrakpeya seems to be comprising it all by telling about this Igbo folklore and ritual story and especially the story of Chinua in this etching. And the beauty of it all, that in stead of things to fall apart, to me all things seem to come together, in true life and trough associated awareness of a universal moment and that fresh spirit in a refugee with whom I ‘ve had the honour to get acquainted with . M


Things Fall Apart Background Information Chinua Achebe is one of the most well-known contemporary African writers. Things Fall Apart deals with the clash of cultures and the violent transitions in life and values brought about by British colonialism in Nigeria in late 1800s. the novel recounts the life of the village hero Okonkwo and describes the arrival of white missionaries in Nigeria and its impact on traditional Igbo society during the late 1800s. Things Fall Apart includes Western linguistic forms and literary traditions with Igbo words and phrases, proverbs, fables, tales, and other elements of African oral and communal storytelling traditions. Slide Show

Igbo or Ibo society;

The Igbo people (English: /ˈɪɡboʊ/; erroneously Ibo,[3][4] formerly also Iboe, Ebo, Eboe,[5] Eboans,[6] Heebo;[7] natively Ṇ́dị́ Ìgbò [ìɡ͡bò] ( listen)[citation needed]) are an ethnic group native to the present-day south-central and south-eastern Nigeria. Geographically, the Igbo homeland is divided into two unequal sections by the Niger River – an eastern (which is the larger of the two) and a western section.[8][9] The Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa.[10]
The Igbo language is divided into numerous regional dialects, and somewhat mutually intelligible with the larger "Igboid" cluster.[11] The Igbo homeland straddles the lower Niger River, east and south of the Edoid and Idomoid groups, and west of the Ibibioid (Cross River) cluster.
In rural Nigeria, Igbo people work mostly as craftsmen, farmers and traders. The most important crop is the yam.[12] Other staple crops include cassava and taro.[13] The Igbos are also highly urbanized, with some of the largest metropolitan areas, cities and towns in Igboland being Onitsha, Enugu, Aba, Owerri, Orlu, Okigwe, Asaba, Awka, Nsukka, Nnewi, Umuahia, Abakaliki, Afikpo, Agbor and Arochukwu.
Before British colonial rule in the 20th century, the Igbo were a politically fragmented group, with a number of centralized chiefdoms such as Nri, Arochukwu, Agbor and Onitsha.[14] Frederick Lugard introduced the Eze system of "Warrant Chiefs".[15] Unaffected by the Islamic jihad sweeping Nigeria in the 19th century, they became overwhelmingly Christian under colonization. In the wake of decolonisation, the Igbo developed a strong sense of ethnic identity.[13] During the Nigerian Civil War of 1967–1970 the Igbo territories seceded as the short-lived Republic of Biafra.[16] MASSOB, a sectarian organization formed in 1999, continues a non-violent struggle for an independent Igbo state.[17]
Small ethnic Igbo populations are found in Cameroon[18] and Equatorial Guinea,[19] as well as outside Africa.

Ikenga; Ikenga (Igbo literal meaning "place of strength") is a horned Alusi (deity) found among the Igbo people in south-eastern Nigeria. It is one of the most powerful symbols of the Igbo people and the most common cultural artifact. Ikenga is mostly maintained, kept or owned by men and occasionally by women of high reputation and integrity in the society. It comprises someone's Chi (personal god), his Ndichie (ancestors), aka Ikenga (right hand), ike (power) as well as spiritual activation through prayer and sacrifice.[1]
Ikenga is specially found among the Northern Igbos of Anambra, Enugu, Delta and some parts of Kogi State.
It is exclusively an Igbo symbol. Nevertheless, various peoples of Southern Nigeria have slightly different notions of the components of an individual personality, but all agree that these various aspects can only be affected through ritual and personal effort. Some variants of it are found in Ijaw, Ishan, Isoko, Urhobo and Edo areas. Among the Isoko people, there are three types of personal shrine images: Oma, which represents the "spirit double" that resides in the other world; Obo which symbolizes the right hand and personal endeavor and the lvri which stands for personal determination. In the Urhobo areas it is also regarded as Ivri and in the Edo areas it's called Ikegobo.



Bruce Obomeyoma Onobrakpeya (born 30 August 1932) is a Nigerian printmaker, painter and sculptor. He has exhibited at the Tate Modern in London, the National Museum of African Art of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and the Malmö Konsthall in Malmö, Sweden.[2] The National Gallery of Modern Art, Lagos has an exhibit of colourful abstract canvases by Onobrakpeya[3] and his works can be found at the Virtual Museum of Modern Nigerian Art, although no exhitions were showing as of October 2017. wiki

Maiden masks, representations of adolescent females, impersonate Igbo ideals of youthful feminine beauty. In their original context, they were danced by male performers during festivals honoring important patron deities, as well as for entertainment. During performances, they were complemented by vibrantly colored suits and accompanied by a multi-instrumental orchestra. Such dynamic display strongly contrasts with their static presentation in Western collections. The Met

 chinua achebe een wereld val uiteen

 maiden mask igbo
 igbo hairdo
igbo country
 maidenmask

small ikenga
small igbo maiden mask coll M
etching face okonkwo
 ikenga


 ikenga's
 bookcover on igbo arts



 ikenga large with maiden mask The Met
harwood  ikenga coll M
softwood ikenga with pigment traces on victorian prayer chair coll M





 ikenga altar descriptions from sales



 urhobo ikenga





kus$kontext magazine



 igbo maidenmask




 igbo statuette Okonkwo?



Bruce onobapeya

 signed Okonkwo
 signature from Bruce



 small pigmented igbo statuette





 about Bruce
 Urhobo modern large ikenga coll M





 cover Things fall apart
bio Bruce Onobrakpeya



Ikenga, Igbo Peoples, Nigeria, wood (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology) Speakers: Dr. Peri Klemm and Dr. Steven Zucker. Created by Beth Harris, Steven Zucker