[Art Attack] History behind the African masks in Black Panther

Farida Dawkins March 01, 2018

Mgbedike Igbo Mask…photo credit: The Geek Twins

Igbo Mask

Eze Nwanyi

Translating into the “Queen of women” this mask represents a wealthy woman of high status.  She personifies strength, beauty, and pride.  It is typically worn during performances at funerals and other ceremonies.

Agbogho mmuo

Seeking to illustrate maiden spirits, men dress up in these masks and parade as adolescent girls to exaggerate their features.  Shows including the mimickers are also joined by musicians who chat ‘Mmanwu si n’igwe’ – meaning the masked spirit from the sky and ‘Udemu na lenu’ – meaning my fame is potent.


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