Hard to recognize East African


Q:  I purchased this mask from an auction or estate sale and was wondering if you could tell me if it’s a tourist mask or actual tribal. Thank you. David, 681

A:  I was having trouble identifying this mask and asked my friend Aaron to help. His first choice was the Makonde people who live in both Tanzania and Mozambique. We mask collectors know them mostly for their great looking helmet masks (lipikos) that are so different from anything else in Africa and elsewhere. But the Makonde sometimes make face masks that don’t look quite so unusual. This is probably one of those. You could easily mistake it for a mask from West Africa or several places in Asia.  B

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