top of page

A marionette puppet originated from Ogoni, Nigeria


Puppet figures are symbols of various characters used to illustrate stories and songs.


The Ogoni have inhabited the eastern edge of the Niger Delta in Nigeria for 500 years. According to legend, the ethnic group, which today numbers about 500,000 people and calls itself Kana, originates from the Gana Empire (9th-13th century in the border region of today's Mali and Mauritania).


Culturally and linguistically, they are related to the neighbouring Ibibio.

The 6 monarchical dominions of Babbe, Eleme, Gokana, Ken-Khana, Nyo-Khana and Tai know a mask system organised in secret societies (aminikpo) that serves social, sacral and state functions.

The aminikpo association also manages a series of articulated puppets (often twelve in number) with which they perform a complex puppet theatre (called naabiradee) on the occasion of various ceremonies, in front of an assembled village community.


Made of Wood and textile.



H 90 cm.
Galerie Walu, Zurich.


- David, Jean (2002). Ogoni. Zurich: Galerie Walu, p. 63.
- Antiques Magazine, 2002, no. 926, p. 50.


Further reading:
David, Jean (2002). Ogoni. Zurich: Galerie Walu (2002).

Marionette Puppet, Ogoni, Nigeria