Decor items vs. artifacts

Q:  I have 11 tribal masks that I would like to sell.  Some have beads on their faces and others have teeth.  They are all different and pretty cool.  However I have no clue about  what tribe made them.  Please let me know if interested and I will send photos.  Connie, 1242

A:  I’m breaking several of my own rules and publishing the photo of your 11 wood carvings. They were made to look like tribal masks and to be sold as souvenirs or as wall art. Tourist items like these can be fine for decoration, but real masks– the ones that are actually worn in native cultures– are sometimes better looking and always more interesting. Normally I only show real masks on this website.

Your decor items will appeal to many buyers– even if they are not mask collectors. You can sell the 11 masks on eBay or a local flea market.


  • Bob Ibold

    Hi Bob
    Thank you for help. I would like to sell them. They are cool looking however I live in a Victorian home and they would not go with my flowers and light color decor. I have no idea what to sell them for. Connie
    I did find the 4 mask I took out because I thought they were unique and the pair has stripped wood and very detailed. Maybe these are better?

    Do you know of someone who would want to buy the masks as a lot? Also any suggestion as to a price.

    Oh yeah are they made in Africa. asia. usa?
    Thank you so much

  • Connie

    Ok Thank Bob. Now it all makes sense. I should of read this first. I would like to sell. Maybe I will put online like etsy or somewhere.
    Thank you for help. I appreciate it.
    Thank you again

  • Bob Ibold

    Either Esty or eBay would be good. Most of your carvings are well made and should appeal to people who are looking for nice decor.

  • Michael

    Hi Bob,
    Sorry to chime in on the conversation… but I’m in Yogyacarta, Indonesia right now and am trying to determine if I should buy a very unique, “antique” mask. Unlike anything in tourist shops, I found it in a little antique store in a remote area.

    Any tips for identifiying wall hangers with the real thing?



    • Bob Ibold

      It takes practice. Sometimes I can help when emailed a photo, especially if you can also include side and rear views. Read the “Ask the Mask Man” page for more into.

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