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Another West African hybrid

aaaMystrySolvd-944Q:  Found this mask in a old home clean-out in Oak Park, IL. Owner was a ww2 vet who was an Air Force Colonel when he retired years ago.15” long and 7” wide ear to ear. I d’ like to know approx. age and tribe if possible.  Matt, 944

A:  Some African specialist, many of which are members of the Yahoo African_Arts group, may be able to guess where this is from. Most of the design elements are probably borrowed from several different tribes in the same general area. Another factor that will complicate the search is that the carver is inexperienced. Unfortunately, from the small size of your photos, I can’t guess whether the mask has been used in culture, or made for sale to tourists. We often call masks like this “hybrids.” I think they could be interesting additions to serious collections. So many of the African masks we see for sale these days are quickly-made copies of the masks pictured in books.

Categories:   Africa

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