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Oku Man

Before European Christianity, Igbo people used nature and energy to restore balance within their lives and often sought wise counsel from the dibia. Dibias act as mystics, healers, teachers, and scribes of their communities. It is said they can access the spiritual realm at any given moment through a ritual which involves covering half or all of their face with chalk. A dibia can have dominion over either water, earth/vegetation, or fire. An oku (meaning fire or heat) dibia, depicted by my brother Joseph, is said to possess the ability to walk through fire, unscathed.

Oil paint, glass beads, and fabric on canvas

16x20 in/ 40.64x50.8 cm


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