Join Our Email List | Contact

By

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…)


By

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…)


By

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…)


By

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…)


By

A pretty girl all dressed up

Dan, Ivory Coast

Dan, Ivory Coast

Q:  I purchased this mask eighteen years ago from an individual. This mask is of particular interest due to its use of materials. Wood mask with hammered metal teardrop under the eye and each is attached with three brads. The mask is surrounded with cloth and crudely sewn. Seashells are attached to the cloth with thread. Two folded over half round circles are attached thru the cloth and have what I assume are rocks in them to make noise. Unfortunately, my wife discarded the certificates of origin. Wood mask size 5” wide X 8” tall. From cloth to  cloth 9“ wide.  From cloth to bells 12.5” tall.  James, 677

A:  Thanks for the good description and the three photos. (more…)


By

Beautiful West African mask

Baule, Ivory Coast

Baule, Ivory Coast

Q:  Hello,
I have this African mask, but I am unsure
of its tribal attribution. Can you or any of your visitors assist? Thank you very much!  Andrew, 671

A:  Looks like a Baule or Guro mask from the Ivory Coast of West Africa. (more…)


By

Interesting but unusual

Maybe Burkina Faso

Maybe Burkina Faso

Q:  I bought this on ebay years ago. I know nothing about masks, but I like all things old! It is developing significant cracks. There are several small holes that look like they could possibly accommodate feathers of some sort. There are also two small holes on each side that probably were used to attach some sort of string or strap to wear the mask.The mask measures 19 inches by 7 inches. I’m not sure about the type of wood, but it is very heavy. any help would be greatly appreciated.  Chris, 660

A:  The Bwa people of Burkina Faso in West Afrrica is a wild guess, (more…)


By

Some African masks are scary

Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast

A:  This mask was given to me by my mother-in-law who lived in the Ivory Coast from 1948 – 1993. She expressed the rarity of the mask but never explained which tribe it came from. It is 15 1/2 inches from ear tip to ear tip and 11 1/2 inches from top to bottom. My wife’s parents were great collectors of antique African art and when they gave me this mask, they intimated that it was one of the nicer pieces in their collection. Can you please try and identify where the mask came from and if it is truly rare, thanks.  Gary, 659

B: This is called a Kaogle mask (more…)


By

Mask from Nigeria, not the Congo

Mfon Ekpo mask

Mfon Ekpo mask

Q: Bob, I always avoid African stuff… that said this one caught my attention as being authentic. Figured I would share. (This was an ebay auction identified as African– possibly Chokwe or from somewhere in the Congo.)  Nathan, 657

A:  It is African but a Mfon Ekpo mask from Ibibio people of Southeastern Nigeria. Because you think it is authentic let’s talk about that. (more…)


By

Pair of Chi Wara “masks”

female and male headdresses

female and male headdresses

I thought this photo of two Chi Wara headdresses, both male and female versions danced by the Bamana people of Mali, was something many of you would like to see. The photo comes from the collection at Virginia Union University and was part of an excellent string of emails on the African_Arts@yahoogroups.com titled “Do authentic Chi Wara headdresses ever include applied metal strips?”

Two things are accomplished by this. (more…)


Top