The Ibibio live in Nigeria between the Niger Delta and Cross River. They have no centralized government. Two main secret societies domineer daily life and use the masks for annual ceremonies. All worship their ancestors. They are two million and live mainly maize and yams. They live in villages whose leaders are elected among the older people belonging to the most distinguished families.
The main society is called Ekpo. It is practiced by male initiates. She is in charge of political, religious, establishing laws and the judiciary power and the worship of ancestors. It guarantees the overall welfare of the village. This company was originally conceived by the Ibibio and is currently present in all ethnic groups in the Niger Delta.
Ekpo society uses two types of masks:
* Masks idiok who are ugly and represent the spirits that roam and are tormented. They have a thin face. When used, the ceremony has a dangerous side. Indeed, their size allows them to confront authoritarian anyone. These masks evoke tropical diseases, smallpox, facial paralysis ...
* Mfon masks which are beautiful and symbolize the spirits who came to paradise and have attained eternal bliss. They often articulated jaw. They appear when the uninitiated can participate in the ceremony.
Ekon society plays a social role in the community.