Hard to identify West African

Somewhere in Africa
Somewhere in Africa

Q: It was part of collection of items left over from a Free Trade Import store that closed. The seller back in the mid 90’s told me that it an authentic ceremonial mask; whereas, other’s in the collection were passport mask made for tourist and not of much value. The mask has holes along the sides and I was told these held grasses at one time which would cover the lower part of the face as the mask rest upon the forehead. From the top of the crown to the bottom of chin measures 11 1/2″ and from ear to ear 6 3/4″. It is made of a very light weight wood and has the remnants of white and an earthy clay colored paint alternating on the crown.  Carole, 581 A: It certainly looks West African, but I can’t pin it down to a particular culture. Okay, maybe it’s from Cameroon, but that’s just a guess.  If you like the way it looks, enjoy it. For more information you could contact the African_Arts group at  B-


  • DUBOIS Marc

    It is probably a WEST PENDE mask from the RDC (Republique Démocratique du Congo).
    How good it is… I do not know but the style is quite obvious.
    For further documentation, I would like to recommend “L’art Pende” a very good bookwritten by L. de Sousberghe in 1958.

  • leon

    However obvious Pende I think it is a substyle based between the pende area and directing towards Angola, typical theeth of the mwana pwo and tree crested hairdress which one doesn’t find in Pende!

    greetz! Leon

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