These kinds of masks are characteristic of the Ekoi tribe and are used by a secret society known as Ekpo, which has six degrees of hierarchy. These objects are carefully guarded in the home of one of the members of the society, who looks after it and preserves it with cooking oil.
The mask is made of cane covered with antelope hide. Both the decoration and the marks on either side of the face and forehead are a depiction of the tribal signs of the Cross River region. They also represent the hierarchy of the person keeping watch over it.