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High-end Mexican mask

Parachico mask

Parachico mask

Q: I have a lot of very good Mexican Dance masks that I bought from a collector in Mexico City when I lived there a few years ago but I don’t have one of these http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=301332462024. Could it possibly be worth this kind of money?  Christophe, 687

A:  This is indeed a very desirable mask. It is called a Parachico and is made in Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas, Mexico. (more…)


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A different kind of devil

Pastorela Devil

Pastorela Devil

Q:  Nathan D. suggested that I contact you regarding the pair of masks that I bought from a well known financier’s estate. He purchased them from a gallery in NYC in the late 70′s. I was told by his son that they are “Mexican Death Masks”, but everyone that I have shown them to, has no idea what they are and has never seen anything like them. I am an African art collector but was so fascinated by them that I had to have them. They are constructed of hand painted thick, leather, genuine goat horns and goat hair, I believe. The insides of the masks are woven. The black mask has clear glass circles over hand painted leather “eyes” and has slits for viewing. The white one only has slits. Anything that you can tell me regarding age, authenticity and region of origin, would be so appreciated.  Laura, 686

 A: These are devil masks for the Pastorela drama in the state of Jalisco in west-central Mexico. (more…)


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A favorite type of African mask

Gu mask from West Africa

Gu mask from West Africa

Q:  This mask looks like ebony wood.  It is 20″ x 9″ wide.  It was a gift from a friend who traveled extensively.  I have had it since the 1990′s.  Cheryl, 685

A:  We see thousands of masks of this basic design and, frankly, in never get tired of looking at them. Here is a little more information. (more…)


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Is it as old as it looks?

Lega Kayamba mask

Lega Kayamba mask

Q:  Please check out this mask. The seller says it is old (I know they always say this). If you want I can send you few more close-ups. Your opinion is very appreciated. Reminds Luba but these horns.. And also the stitches, were they made on purpose so the mask looks old? Or are they real? The mask has 2 holes at sides and 3 holes for the beard. This is Kigali, Rwanda. Thank you.  Sayn, 684

A:  It’s a horned Kayamba mask from the Lega people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (more…)


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Is this Balinese mask old?

Rangda mask

Rangda mask

Q:  Hi, my mother recently acquired this mask when a relative passed away, and I was really curious as to what the mask was depicting and how it may have been used. She thinks it is from Bali, but I have no idea. Thank you for your time!  Zack, 683

A:  Your mother is right. It is a beat up Rangda mask that might actually be an antique. (more…)


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Cheap Mexican decorative

My first mask

My first mask

Q:  Can you tell me something about this triple head (man and some type of animals) mask.  Made of wood.  I don’t know anything about it but need to sell it and want to say the truth about the mask.  Thanks,  Tina, 682

A:  About 40 years ago I bought my first mask. It was an inexpensive but very colorful piece that was made by the same group of carvers in Guerrero, Mexico, that made yours. (more…)


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Hard to recognize East African

Makonde

Makonde

Q:  I purchased this mask from an auction or estate sale and was wondering if you could tell me if it’s a tourist mask or actual tribal. Thank you. David, 681

A:  I was having trouble identifying this mask and asked my friend Aaron to help. His first choice was the Makonde people who live in both Tanzania and Mozambique. (more…)


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A little about age

Borneo

Kapit, Borneo

Q:  This mask was bought on Borneo and is said to be from the Iban on Borneo used for rice-field ceremony. It comes from the Kapit area. I am curious whether it is authentic (indication is that it comes from the 1920′s).  Adam, 680

A:  Simple, primitive masks that look like this can be found in many cultures throughout the world including African, Himalayan, Timorese, Mexican, etc. Fortunately, you know exactly where yours was made. (more…)


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A little about authenticity

Baule Goli mask

Baule Goli mask

Q:  I found this at a goodwill store. Just wondering what the background is and if it appears to be authentic.  Nathan, 679

A:  Your mask an attractive reproduction of a classic Goli Kpan mask from the Baule people of Ivory Coast. This type of Goli mask always shows a beautiful women with an elaborate coiffure and elegant scarification. Yours is quickly made and artificially aged, but nicely proportioned and traditional in style. I like it. (more…)


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Popular Indonesian mask

Rangda, Bali

Rangda, Bali

Q:  Bought this mask at an estate not sure what I want to do with it probably to be honest sell it.   Lile, 678

A:  This is Rangda, the most popular character mask from the classic Balinese dance dramas. People find them colorful and exotic. It is an inexpensive one that has been carved and painted quickly and can be purchased for very little money. If you search you can find photos of much finer examples, but they will cost more. A well made Rangda that has been used by a professional dancer for a long time would cost even more. Actually, B, C and D all apply to this particular example.


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