Q: The heavy hardwood mask with a star on the forehead is, I was told, an older carnival mask from Trinidad & Tobago. It supposedly represents a policeman (hence the star). I’m not sure all this is accurate, but it does make some sense. I’ve never seen a mask quite like this one before. What do you think? Aaron, 838
A: You have a good eye for quality. I think this is an authentic mask, but like you, I’m not aware of carnival masks from Trinidad & Tobago looking anything like this. Your next consideration should be Ecuador. The hardwood looks right and so do the round holes to see through. In the old days, the Quechua-speaking Indians in the mountains didn’t have much access to the colorful enamel now used on all of their masks. Having said this, let’s not rule out that someone will suggest a remote area of Asia. Identifying masks can be difficult!