|Q: A friend of mine gave me this mask, said it was given to him by a client from Guinea. I am curious where in Africa this may be from and any symbolism. Thanks, Yudith, 1020
A: It looks like a mask from the Igbo people of Nigeria. You will see many that look similar. Igbo is one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa, but they are far away from Guinea. I like the way the tear marks are large and circular, and the narrow, double crown fits so well between the two. It appears to be old, but probably isn’t. Tourists and collectors like to think a mask has been actually used. Try doing a little research on Google for how they are supposed to be used.
Thank you!! It appeared to be very old, was very dusty, wasn’t kept in the best of conditions. My friend’s client was throwing it out because he was moving and my friend had it for years in a closet before I rescued it. I am no sure how to clean the dust and what appeared to be ashes inside of the mask without destroying it, any suggestions?
Yeah, it’s best to try not to improve. I think it looks quite good just as is.