• Africa

    Portrait of a white man

      I bought this mask about 30 years ago. It came without information, but there was no doubt it represented a bearded white man. I was certain it was carved some where in Africa. Since then I have seen others. Two of the best are a Dogon mask on page 72 of Susan Vogel’s Africa Explores, and the one of Elvis Presley in the Brooklyn Museum’s collection. But there are many more and almost all are funny. Have you seen one?  1057 Save Save Save Save Save Save

  • East Asia

    Older Hanhoe mask from Korea

    Q:  While searching the internet I learned this is a Hanhoe mask from Korea. The face of a Depraved Monk, I would guess. Also attached is a close-up of the back showing Korean writing clear enough to read.  Ivan, 1056 A:  I always like to get photos of the front, side and rear. In this case, it would also be helpful to get a translation of the writing on the back. It might identify this as a bride’s mask. It is a very popular character and is always carved out of wood with a moving jaw. Most of the other characters (different monks, government officials, etc.) are usually made of…

  • Mexico

    Old Mexican mask

    Q:  I’m reaching out to you because I recently received four masks as a gift from my uncle who lives in Mexico City and would like to know more about them. They’re thought to be around half a century old, although I must admit I know very little about Mexican folkloric masks and therefore cannot be sure. The photographs I’ve attached are of one that particularly drew my attention, as it is shaped like an eagle, holding a snake’s (I’m assuming) head with a piece of twine in its beak (affixed with a small nail) and is painted in the colors of the Mexican flag. I haven’t seen too many…

  • Protection

    Street Hockey goalie mask

    There are masks that have nothing to do with ritual, ceremony or celebration. One of these categories is protection, and these often scary masks can be great fun to collect. Here we have a old street hockey goalie’s mask. It is made of white, Mylec plastic and has padding, straps and buckles on the rear. Made in Canada, it is the same model worn in the opening scene of the 1996 film Heat. Masks are worn because a speeding puck or out-of-control stick could do serious damage to the face. But there is a secondary reason for the way protective masks are designed. Their appearance can be very intimidating to…

  • Oceania

    Hudoq mask from the Dayak of Borneo

    Q:  I was living in Malaysia in 1990-91 and purchased a number of masks while there.  I know one is a Hurdoq mask I got in Borneo but am not sure about the other masks.  I’m interested in finding out what their function is and approximately what they may be worth.  Thanks for any help you can provide.  I’ve attached pictures of various masks rather than multiple views of a single mask.  Michael, 1053 A:  Thank you for the Hudoq mask photo. In the Dayak language hudoq  means hornbill bird. These famous masks are worn during agricultural ceremonies and to welcome important guests. Like so many ethnographic artifacts from around…

  • Africa

    Mumuye or Mambila animal mask

      Q:  Important for me is your opinion of this mask. This is a Mumuye zoomorphic mask from my collection.  This mask as you can see is very old with 45 cm height and weight of 1200 grams . I buy before month from a private seller.  Negris, 1052 A:  It could be a Mumuye vabo or a Mambila suaga mask. Both tribes are fairly close to each other in southern Nigeria or northeast Cameroon. Either way, this is a beautiful West African mask. Though a bit crudely carved, it is unique in both design and color, and would be a nice addition to any serious collection. Unfortunately a museum…

  • Native America

    Kwakiult mouse mask for Disney

    Q:  I also have a mask that an Indian tribe in Canada gave Walt Disney. It is really big and there is an engraved plaque stating that it was a gift to Walt.  It is mounted on wood.  Anne, 1051 A:  This could have a lot going for it. Well made NWC native American masks are a favorite of collectors. Ones depicting mice are rare. This particular one was presented to the creator of Mickey Mouse as a gift from the tribe. It could be worth a lot if the quality is good. I wish we had some better photos. Fortunately, you can read the label that was stuck to…

  • Africa

    Punu crest mask or reliquary head

    Q:  This is my Punu crest mask/reliquary head.  In the research that I have done, I have not seen anything quite like this one, i.e., the chin strap and mouth shape.  Any information that you or your readers could provide would be appreciated.  This mask was purchased in the Philadelphia area in the early ’90s.  Dan, 1050 A:  Let’s try to help Dan. He thinks he has a really nice Punu artifact. But there is no provenance. The best I can tell him is that I enjoy the way it looks. Surely their are viewers who can tell him a bit more.

  • Europe

    Fancy Venetian carnival mask

    Q:  Your site is the only place I found information about a mask like this. I think it might be the same Barbare Venezie as another carnivale mask you published a photo of.  I fell in love with this through an estate auction and don’t even have it in my hands yet. The pics are from the estate sale website. I really want to know more.  Paula, 1049 A:  They are so pretty I decided to share it with our viewers even though we have a similar one already in the archives. Perhaps that’s the one you’ve seen. And don’t hesitate to wear it. These masks hold up very well. …

  • Africa

    African monkey mask

    Q:  I have no idea about this mask.  John, 1048 A:  It would be nice to know dimensions, when, where and how much you paid. None the less, I can tell you it is some kind of monkey mask from West Africa. More specific information will be difficult if the mask was made for sale to tourists or exporters, which I am pretty sure is the case. Comments will be appreciated.