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Northwest Coast mask repro

NWC mask

NWC mask

Q: Here are photos of some masks I have picked up in the last 8 months. What do you think about the bird one?  Jim, 733

A: The masks you sent all look old and used, but whether they are or not remains to be seen. Interest in collecting NWC masks goes back to the late 19th century. Indians started making masks for sale to tourists way before 1900 and have been doing so ever since. (more…)


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Turnips fly at the Jarramplas Festival

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flying turnips

Every January, on Saint Sebastian Day, the streets of Piornal, Spain, fill with residents armed with turnips, seeking to punish the Jarramplas. The Jarramplas is a devil-like character portrayed by a man wearing a costume made from colorful strips of fabric, a frightening mask, and body armor underneath. In a centuries-old tradition, he walks the streets and beats a drum while residents throw turnips at him as a punishment for stealing cattle. (more…)


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Hopi masks returning to America

Sacred Hopi mask

Sacred Hopi mask

A charity which bought 24 sacred Native American masks at a controversial Paris auction is to return them to the Hopi and Apache tribes in the US. The US-based Annenberg Foundation said it had spent a total of $530,000 at the auction of masks and other artifacts. Go to this link to see more.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-25331975

I applaud this effort by the Annenberg Foundation. (more…)


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Thai or Timorese mask?

aaaMystrySolvd-730Q:  I’ve had it about 25 years. It came from a guy who used to import furniture from Thailand and he just acquired it from some locals who got it many years earlier from a temple that was destroyed by fire. Whether or not that’s just a salesman patter or quite feasible– who knows? But I’ve looked through the net and haven’t got any more of a clue of what it is. It’s approx 32 by 19 inches and of heavy darkish wood. If you could shed some light on it I would be very grateful.  Alex, 730

A:  I haven’t seen a Thai mask like this. (more…)


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Day of the Dead mask

anywhere in Mexico

anywhere in Mexico

Q:  I purchased this mask at a rummage hall that deals in storage unit clean-outs. I like detail and scary images. I had a friend who works with Pacific northwest wood look at it and she couldn’t identify the type, just that it was really old. Dimensions are approx 8L” x 7.75W”x 4.75H” and the weight is 153g. Any information you provide would be wonderful. At this point I am clueless where to start looking.  Darrel, 729

B: It is a Mexican Day of the Dead mask that could be used to celebrate that very important holiday. (more…)


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To collect or not to collect

West Africa

West Africa

Q:  This mask from Africa is at least  50 years old.  I do not know more about it … bought it 20 years ago in a garage sale. I’m not a collector of masks. Thanks.  Louise, 728

A:  Thanks for the excellent photos. The mask is from somewhere in West African. It was designed with a combination of references to various cultural traditions… then made to look used and old. (more…)


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The Spanish influence

Morones festival

Morones festival in Philippines

Q:  Have you ever seen the christian based, roman soldier masks of the Philippines Holy Week celebrations? Pretty interesting… these are large, hollowed, helmet-masks that they wear.  Nate, 727

A: Yes, I think they are interesting as well. Called Morones, they are only found on the small island of Marinduque just south of the big island of Luzon. (more…)


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Old Peru wood mask

Peru or Bolivia

Peru or Bolivia

Q:  What are your thoughts on this mask from Peru? Wood, chiseling, and depth all seem rather unique and not similar to what I normally see in other countries. I am surprised to think Peru has animals on the front of their masks like Mexican masks might. This one is claimed to be from the 1850s, but nothing about the string, or patina on the mask would attest to this. Does not seem like its a used mask, or an antique.  Nate, 726

A:  Nate, I’m amazed at how you continue to find interesting masks. (more…)


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$100 discount prize

?

?

On December 23, 2014 I posted a very interesting, unpainted balsa wood mask that is still unknown. Several people have commented, but so far no one knows what it is. The first person to come up with a correct ID will win a $100 discount on any mask of his or her choice in the for-sale section of MasksoftheWorld.com. (more…)


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Masks as art

ceramic art mask

ceramic art mask

This wonderful clay mask was done by my friend, Scott Paden, when he was an art student. (Today, many years later, he is Director of Preservation for OLBN, an architectural firm with offices in DC, New York and Beijing.)  725

Masks are a combination of sculpture and painting. Art teachers know that and will often assign masks as a class project that integrates social studies, literature, history and religion, and introduces the students to new materials such as papier mache, plaster, clay, metal, wood, etc. It can be a delight to see the results of these student efforts. (more…)


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