A special iron mask from Mali


Q: Purchased about 15 years ago, this looks nothing like my other African masks. The main construction is of thin iron. There is a woven material around the periphery of the tower-like portion of the mask. Also, a felt-like material on the forehead. There are some signs of white paint on the tower and the ears, plus what may be attachment holes on the rear periphery. I think it may have been wearable.  Anne & Sam, 536

A: Lots of handsome iron masks have been coming out of Mali in recent years from both the Dogon and Bamana people. This is the first one I’ve seen with ears and headdress, plus the indication of padding for comfort while wearing. For that reason I think it is quite special. Do they really wear these things?

If you know more about iron masks from Mali, please let us hear from you.


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