Ijele Masquerade

Maddox, Age 12

  • Painting
  • Oil paint on canvas
  • 500(w) 600(h) 30(d) mm

My grandfather and parents always told me stories of the great Ijele Masquerade. "Ijele" in Igbo language means dignity and grace. The Ijele mask can sometimes measure up to 15 feet high and takes around 90 people over 7 months to build and complete. The stories about the Ijele, the dance steps, the amount of time it takes to build the mask and the different materials used inspired me to make the painting. In my painting I tried to capture the Ijele's vibrant colours. The flying dust and mud captures the energy of the dancers around the masquerade.