The Ijele Masked Spirit

Amongst the Igbo the Ijele is known as the King of all masked spirits. Ijele is the largest single man mask in Sub-Saharan Africa and originated in present-day Anambra and Enugu State, Nigeria.

The mask is adorned with 45 figurines that depict different aspects of life, it’s roughly 4-6 meters high with a python wrapped around the centre. It takes months to craft and performers undergo special training to ensure they have the strength to carry it.

The Ijele comes out during Igbo festive occasions and is typically accompanied by a musical band. In a display of its reverence and superiority it performs alone and is always the last to arrive.


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