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Rare, old Indian mask

NE India

NE India

Q:  I have had this huge mask for a while and always thought it was from South India (possible Kerala), but recently a friend told me it looks Nepalese to him? With the larger nose possibly a Garuda? I think it may be a form of Shiva as well. Also I am having a heard time dating it. It has for sure been worn and lots of wear and few layers of paint. Ant ideas?  Josh, 705

A:  You have a wonderful mask here. It is probably from somewhere in northeastern India. (more…)


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Much larger Congo mask

DRC

DRC

Q:  Just wondering if you could kindly identify this mask for me. I came across it whilst in Africa. It came off a truck that was doing a trans-Africa tour approx 30 years ago. I believe it came from West Africa. It is wooden with a rafia beard and the size including beard is 137cm (wooden mask height only is 68cm), the width is 39cm, so it is quite big.  Paul, 704

A:  When it rains it pours Congo masks. This one is indeed big. Masks this large are made by African tribes occasionally. (more…)


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More from the Congo

Congo style

Congo style

Q:  I’d love your thoughts on this mask I recently bought at auction; it’s around 30cm in height and made from a fairly light weight wood. Could it be from Congo I wonder? Many thanks in advance.  Nicky, 703

A:  Yes, it could be from the Congo, and possibly from the same area as the Lwalu mask that just came in a few hours ago. So what I said previously applies to your mask as well. (more…)


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Interesting mask from the Congo

Lwalu

Lwalu

Q:  This mask was left in our home when we purchased it.  We are not collectors but are very intrigued, and who knows, this may start our hobby.  Can you tell us something about it? Thank you!!!  Machelle, 702

A: I think you are lucky. This is a good example of a used* mask from the Lwalu people from the West Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Here masks are used for various rites, plus brief performances to bring good luck before the hunt. (more…)


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A Perfect Stranger

Mystery

Mystery

Q:  I am a collector of Oceanic material and just bought this mask at a local auction. It is 21 inches long and seems to be old, but I really don’t know where it’s from. It’s full of decoration, mostly scorpions and birds.  Niek, 701

A:  This is a mystery for the Mask Man as well. (more…)


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Very old Diablo Umo

Ecuadorian Indians

Ecuadorian Indians

Q:  Any ideas? The blue mask has what looks like a date 1957. They were well used. There is a moth eaten felt pad at the inside top to make wearing easier. I have no ideas.
Thanks, Gary, 700

A:  The Diablo Umo fabric mask is a classic from the Quechua-speaking people of Ecuador. (more…)


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Real mask or not

Chinese bamboo art

Chinese bamboo art

Q:  I am super excited to have discovered your site.  I have collected masks since I visited Mexico in the summer of 1995.  My favourite mask is one I bought in Taxco in a store that was just filled with masks.  I know you asked for just one to be submitted but I think the back of the other one is so interesting. It was purchased in an antique store in Honk Kong in 2000. I think I was told it was bamboo root. I don’t buy masks for their value, I really just collect what masks that I enjoy and like to look at.  Lucy, 699

A:  What I said about the previous mask (#698) could apply to the Mexican. (more…)


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Routine Mexican Devil

El Diablo

El Diablo

Q:  Got this mask in Nogales, Mexico 15-20 yrs ago. I also collect Pascola masks from Northern Mexico. What can you tell me about this one?  Steve, 698

A:  I am a great lover of Mexican masks. The first mask I ever purchased (30 years ago) was Mexican and there are many on my walls at home that I just can’t part with. Even with this favorable prejudice, I am not thrilled with this piece. (more…)


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Blind man’s mask

strange mask

strange mask

Q:  I bought this unusual African mask from a local dealer.  He told me it was about 100 years old and from the Ivory Coast.  The seller said it was made by the Yaware tribe and used in ceremonies where the magician needed to enter a very deep trance.  Apparently the lack of eye holes made that more possible.  He also said it was very rare and he’d never seen one like it before.  I’m particularly interested in the mouth with the sharp teeth.  I’d love to find out what spirits or creature this mask represents and what ceremonies it was used for.  I tried to google the Yaware tribe but came up with almost nothing.  The mask has a peculiar, frightening aura about it.  I’m guessing it might have been used to scare off evil spirits?  Would LOVE to know more.  Thank you for any information you can find.   Carlo, 697

A:  After searching there is little to tell. (more…)


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Specialized mask collecting

Lucha Libre wrestler

Lucha Libre wrestler

Even though I’m not a Lucha Libre fan, I know this guy is a currently popular wrestler from Mexico. I’ve seen his picture before. That’s saying something because there are hundreds of wrestlers that wear different masks… and they retire that unique design when the athlete ends his career. (more…)


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