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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…)


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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…)


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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…)


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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…)


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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…)


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Maybe old and used

West Africa

West Africa

Q:  I am fascinated by old items, but have no interest in commercial masks. This mask was found in an old explorer/adventurer estate auction. He had been traveling Africa on digs in the 50′s. I have little or no idea of the origin or age, but is sure it is not commercial, but an original.  653

A:  Based on the three beautiful photos you sent in I think there may be some collector interest in this mask. (more…)


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Unusual Lipiko helmet mask

Makonde Lipiko mask

Makonde Lipiko mask

Q:  You may remember me – I sold you the field-collected yellow Makonde mask from Mandela, Mozambique. (I did my fieldwork among the Makonde in 2004)  I think the Makonde mask with mustache and blue skull cap is pretty interesting and wonder if you have additional photos of it. Is it yours?  I’d love to know more about it, and see more views of it.  Thanks, Alex

A: I will send you more photos. (more…)


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Senufo or otherwise

French West Africa

French West Africa

Q:  I recently acquired a neat mask from an antique sale. It’s quite big, and I believe it’s all one piece of wood. I was told from the seller it was from West Africa, and is Senufo. Just wondering if you might know any more about it and it’s authenticity.  Jack, 637

A:  This is not a typical Senufo mask. The antelope style is more popular with other cultures in the surrounding areas of Mali and Burkina Faso. (more…)


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Bottom of the line

Dan Racer mask

Dan Racer mask

Q:  A few weeks ago I came home to find this mask sitting on a bench on my carport. I asked my neighbors if they knew any about it. Sadly they did not. I was curious if you could give insight on where is may have originated from as I have nothing to go on.  Pete, 634

A:  It is the famous Racer mask of the Dan people who live in the Ivory Coast region of West Africa. However, it may have been made somewhere else. (more…)


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Antiqued Maiden Spirit mask

Nigeria

Nigeria

Q:  This mask confused me because the nobs on the top of his head would indicate Africa but the designs on the cheeks seem to be more Papua New Guinea. It is carved from light wood, completely emptied out with good vision through the eye holes and is 16 inches high. Together this would make it easy to wear.  Alice, 633

A:  You’ve got a Maiden Spirit mask from the Igbo people of Nigeria, West Africa’s most populated country. (more…)


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