Q: This is the way I think the mask was supposed to be worn. The wicker and leather cap on top of the head are held on with the chin strap. The grass and leather is very dry and fragile and I was reluctant to force anything into position. Thanks for any help you can give. I really appreciate it. This is a hard one to display. Maybe a wig stand? Hate to beat it up anymore, it really should be preserved to some degree. I feel it is old and authentic, but the wooden chin guard doesn’t seem to have the same sense of age. Don, 608
A: Your 3-piece mask ensemble seems to be from the Igbo people of Nigeria. But I’ve never heard of a set like this. Perhaps you should try the Yahoo discussion group called African_Arts for more information. If it is the real deal it might be highly desirable to collectors because of the unusual configuration. But don’t get you hopes up too high. That old look is skilfully applied to most African masks before they are sold.
A wig stand would be an excellent way to display this interesting 3-piece mask. You’ll surely be the only guy in town with that on your coffee table.