Q: I recently purchased this mask. I believed it is carved from bone, possibly fossilized. Sutures can be seen in the underside of the mask. I do not know the type of bone or from what animal. Neither do I know its origin. It measures 7.5″ long and 5.5″ wide. Feel free to ask any additional questions. Thanks for any info you are able to give me. Herbert, 773
A: Bones are an unusual medium for masks.More often we see masks of wood, papier mache, metal, ceramics, rubber, plastic, etc. Your carved bone is the right size for a mask. However, it is hard to understand how it could be worn. On the island of Timor in the South Pacific bone is often used for masks, but the ones I’ve seen aren’t marked this way. This piece appears to have been coated with brown tinted varnish to make it look old. That would suggest it is a decorative wall hanging. Comments are always welcome.