Unusual Bambara mask from Mali

Q:  I have three masks that were purchased from a dealer in southern Indiana in 1973.  Two with detailed carving on the front, one with black paint.  All three are hand carved.  Thoughts?  Kevin, 893

A:  I only do single masks on the Ask the Mask Man blog. Of course, you are welcomed to submit another one in the next month. This one is very thinly carved, which is often a characteristic of those that are used, whereas the ones made to be sold as souvenirs and art are usually heavier. I also was impressed by the use of black lines to give emphasis to the carved decoration. This is unusual. Beads, cowie shells or fragments of sheet metal are more common.  B

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