The Ejagham (also known as 'Ekoi') people of southeastern Nigeria used objects like this bird-beaked headdress as props in ceremonial plays. It has been pyro-engraved with nsibidi, a centuries-old ideographic script used by secret societies. Pyrography or pyro-engraving is the art of decorating wood or other materials using a heated tool or a fine flame. The term means 'writing with fire', from the Greek pur (fire) and graphos (writing).
Donated by Percy Amaury Talbot in 1914.
Accession number: 1914.26.6.