Decorative masks can be fun

aaaMystrySolvd-906Q:  Hey, I bought this mask off of EBay. The seller took over her sister’s estate. Apparently the sister had majored in anthropology and was a collector of African and Pacific Northwest Indian fetishes. The lady selling the mask did not know anything about it. I’ve looked for similar masks, but haven’t come across any. I was curious if you could shed some light on the origin of this mask.  Austin, 906

A:  You’d have a hard time finding another one of these. At first glance it is a Kple Kple mask from the Baule people of Ivory Coast, West Africa. It’s even antiqued to make it look old and used. But the lips are from a gift shop sun burst and the scarification pattern is found on masks in several different cultures. It could have been made anywhere in the world. If you want to display a fake mask with an amusing story, this is a good choice.  C+

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