Tourist mask of unusual wood

decorative wallhanging
decorative wallhanging

Q: I have mask that my grandparents got in Africa and just want some information like where in Africa it came from and just what it is.  Chrisitna, 551

A: This unpainted, wooden mask may have come from Africa, but it is not associated with any cultural tradition I am aware of. It would have been made as decorative art for sale to tourists, not for ritual or celebration. That coarsely grained wood is unusual. It would be interesting to learn the species name and geographic territory. Most of the Mystery Masks I receive fall into the decorative (or tourist) category, however, I don’t usually post them. C-

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