Bamana Ntomo mask from Mali

Q:  I know you have shown similar masks in the past… I’d like to know where the artist got the metal ( I assume the metal is aluminum.)
I bought this mask at an estate sale many years ago and don’t remember what I paid for it. Would like your opinion on its origin and was it made for tourists?  It doesn’t matter, I’m just curious. My 3 kids will have a great tag sale one of these days!  Mickey, 1174

A:  Ntomo (N’tomo) masks from Mali are among my favorites. I’m not alone—they are popular throughout the tourist industry. However, your bright and shiny example could easily come from places outside of Mali. And yes, the sheet metal is aluminum. Commercial materials and coatings have been readily available in most of Africa for the past 50 years.

I just checked out the Internet and found an older, used Ntomo that I think our viewers will enjoy. It’s not the kind of mask you’d let your kids sell. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Privacy Policy