• Oceania

    Old, worn primitive mask

    Q:  I recently purchase this mask in an online auction. It was listed at “Oceanic carved wooden effigy”. Any other information would be greatly appreciated. The braided hemp rope is included (through eye sockets).  The size it is 15″H X 10″W 4.5″D.  Dale, 864 A:  This mask is so damaged I can’t identify it. All we have to go on is that someone said they thought it was Oceanic.

  • Misc

    Introducing… Masks of the World

    by Robert Ibold and Troy Yohn If you could have only one book on masks, this should be your choice. From old, used traditional masks to modern decoratives, everything is covered. It is truly an encyclopedia of masks. Copies are now available in hardback, soft cover and ebook. If you want to see how we have organized the photos and descriptions of over 1000 collectible masks, please click here.  http://masksoftheworld.com/masks-of-the-world-book/

  • Africa

    Lenape Indian helmet mask?

    Q:  My friend purchased this ceremonial Natvie American mask from someone in the same area where we live, Schuylkill County, PA. This is what we were told: it is a Native American ceremonial “good luck” mask named the Black Eagle, probably just because of the large nose. It was said to be 100-150 years old. It was thought to be Lenape  Indian in style. Someone else told us he thought it was Seminole.  It is a lighter density wood, 13 1/2 ” high by 12″ across. It weighs only 5 1/2 pounds and is life sized to go on someone’s head. There are good luck rolling logs on either cheek.

  • Africa

    Primitive mask from the Congo

    Q:  I have a lot of masks. I like to collect them. Especially African masks. A week before ı bought another one. I think it is from the Bacongo people of the DRC, and made of wood.  Actually the seller didn’t have any info on it. I bought it for 30 dollar. Could you tell me more about this mask. I hope it is old and original. Thanks.  Suleyman, 861 A:  Bacongo is a pretty good guess, but this example is crude and lacking any easily recognized features.

  • Mexico

    Hammered sheet metal decorative

    Q:  I just found your website. This mask is 19 and a half inches tall by 11 inches wide.  I found it in a dumpster while cleaning out an apartment building full of trash in San Pedro, California. The outside kind of looks like silver if I rub it.  The chin holder on the inside is a softer pliable material more like lead. Notice the animal looking earrings. I hang it over my toilet. Thank you for your time.  Jeremy, 860 A:  This is a popular tourist mask made by a small shop of craftsmen working in Iquala, Guerrero, as early as the 1970’s.

  • Guatemala

    Mask of Chief Humming Bird

    Q:  This Guatemalan mask looks well used, has multiple layers of paint, and a thick rich patina on the backside. It appears to be a rather unusual mask in that it has elongated, cut-outs over both cheeks…certainly not something I’ve ever seen. But I did find a similar character that represents a very important Mayan chief called Huitzizil Tzunum, which means humming bird. This character is carved in a famous Mayan Stella in the Archaeological site of Copán, Honduras.  Nate, 859 A:  First, I must congratulate you on finding and identifying this old Guatemalan-style mask.

  • Mexico

    Strange leather mask from Mexico

    Q:  Just bought this leather mask and wanted to get your opinion as to it’s origin. It measures 9″ at widest and 10″ top to bottom with horse hair whiskers. Could this be from Chiapas?  Thanks, Lois, 858 A:  The Tzotzil people, who live in the center of Chiapas and are of Mayan descent, frequently make masks out of leather. But this one is different in design.

  • Africa

    Sande Society mask of the Mende

    Q:  I just got this from a private auction.  I paid less than $100, but I consider it to be very high quality.  I already had 2 Mende helmets in my collection, both of reasonably high quality, but when I saw this, I knew it was exceptionally well done.  So I bid on it and won at a much lower price than I expected.   Aaron, 857 A:  I’m so pleased that Aaron is sharing this with us. It’s a famous helmet mask worn only by women, which is very unusual in West Africa.

  • Bali & Java

    This big Barong is meant to scare

    Q: I am trying to gather as much material on the masks I own….for my children. I never bothered to write down how much they cost, where I got them and when. Wish I was more diligent. The photos are of a large wood carved mask. Do not know anything about it. Was bought at a indoor flea market. Any thoughts? Mickey, 856 A: Barong masks are used in village ceremonies held in rural Bali and Java. These large, heavy masks must be held with the aid of two handles protruding from the rear. The mouth can be moved up and down. This one is of a boar, but there…

  • Mexico

    Unusual Mexican bird mask

    Q: Looking through your older posts, I saw an unknown mask (Nov. 2013) which resembles one I have. Mine has a bird on the front. Very light wood. Bought with another one at a flea market. It has a tag inside which has the following: S. Pedro Teozacoalco. dist. Zaaohila. Mexico. It also has the following (which I translated using google translations): “The godmother of the bride (or groom) mask. Used during the blessing ceremony.” Any thoughts on its age, or what the inscription S. Pedro Teozacoalco means? Mickey, 855 A: I asked Bryan Stevens, the most knowledgeable collector of Mexican masks I know, about this.