Q: I have this mask and would like to know it’s origin. I hope you can help. Thank you, Vera, 615
A: The mask is from West Africa. (more…)
Q: 20-odd years ago I was doing some work in Ghana and came across this mask. At the time I thought it unusual and as far as I could tell (after a while you developed a sense of what is and what isnt ) seemed an authentic as opposed to carved for tourists item (but seeing as the Africans are past masters at aging items of course I could be wrong) anyway the mask always seemed to have a visual strength to it and I really like it.
Recently I wanted to find out more about it and started looking for clues and despite a lot of searching can not find one that is similar. I am assuming the closest visual references come from Burkina Faso with the geometric design and stylization. Steve, 610
A: Of course it is from Burkina Faso, (more…)
Q: This is the way I think the mask was supposed to be worn. The wicker and leather cap on top of the head are held on with the chin strap. The grass and leather is very dry and fragile and I was reluctant to force anything into position. Thanks for any help you can give. I really appreciate it. This is a hard one to display. Maybe a wig stand? Hate to beat it up anymore, it really should be preserved to some degree. I feel it is old and authentic, but the wooden chin guard doesn’t seem to have the same sense of age. Don, 608
A: Your 3-piece mask ensemble seems to be from the Igbo people of Nigeria. (more…)
Q: I picked this and another mask up in Mali some years ago. Don’t know anything about it. Made of a fairly heavy dark wood and inset with what looks like bone or polished kernel and colored beading. Any info greatly appreciated. Rick, 606
A: Thanks for the pic of the lovely mask, despite that strong background it must compete with. (more…)
Q: I found this mask in the back of a small shop in southern Kenya. It is about 13 inches tall, 10 inches wide, and 5 inches deep. The mask seems to be made of a dark wood, perhaps ebony, and has what appears to be small amounts of clay inside. The carving technique leaves flattish hexagonal shapes all over the mask. I don’t know much about it, but I’ve heard that you really know your stuff.
A: Nice looking mask. (more…)
Q: I obtained this from a friend, who’s great uncle lived in Africa and collected various weapons, musical instruments, and of course mask. The white that outlines the eyes, ears, and mouth is some sort of gritty paint that can be scratched off. The mask is about 15 inches tall including the burlap top( 9 inches from the top of the forehead to chin) it is 7 and 1/2 inches across. The cone on the top seems to be made of straw and covered with burlap. Would love to know where it originated from and its purpose …if in fact it is an authentic mask. Thanks in advance for you time and assistance. Angie, 600
A: Thanks for the pictures and description. (more…)
Look at this wonderful postman mask from Nigeria. The guy looks like an Indian immigrant, and his cap seems to have the USPS logo on it. Times are changing. Actually, traditional African art has been changing for a long time. Two great books to read: Africa Explores by Susan Vogel and Maske by Phyllis Galembo.
Q: I found this mask at Goodwill. It is carved from one piece of dark wood. 18″ x 6″. There is red color under the black where it has chipped off. It had a string in back and looks like it was a wall hanger. Rob, 599
A: You have a Guro (a tribe from Ivory Coast, West Africa) tourist mask. (more…)
Q: I bought this mask in Berne, it’s from Gabun. I did a long internet research and didn’t find anything closely resembling. But I found your website, a treasure trove. I’d be happy if you could give me more information about this mask. Thank you! Maja, 596
A: To me this handsome mask combines the characteristics of several cultures located in the central part of the DRC, formerly the Belgian Congo. (more…)