From the Bamum of Cameroon

Q:  I bought this mask on eBay last year for $65. The seller did not know much about it, but some research on my end leads me to believe that it is from  Cameroon.  Does it look at all authentic to you?  The reason that I ask is that there are no holes on the sides for wearing it.  Thanks very much.  Fred, 1111

A:  The famous author Ladislas Segy says this kind of mask was worn by the Bamum and Bamileke people at the beginning of the hunt and at the new-moon ceremonies. This particular carving is for export or sale to the tourist trade. Authentic African masks are almost never seen on the market anymore. My advice to collectors is buy what looks like aged, traditional African art, but only pay the price of a reproduction. You got it for less than a repro!  B


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