Misc

Tourist masks

Q: I just received this mask as a gift. I was told it came from a collector in Canada, but it looks African to me. Rick, 1650

A: Many of the people who write to the Mask Man have been given a mask, found one, or bought an “old one” cheap. They are usually hoping it will be worth something. I have to disappoint them, hopefully, in a nice way. It would be better the next time if they bought tribal art for beauty rather than value.

Other visitors to MasksoftheWorld are collectors and would probably not be interested in today’s blog. Rick has a mask that doesn’t resemble the work of any particular tribe. Collectors want to know about the mask’s history and ethnography, as well as craftsmanship and condition.

This carving is pleasantly artistic and has a generic tribal look, all of which will look great as decorative art. I would urge my viewers to buy similar wood carvings… as long as they are affordable. Avoid buying masks that are supposed to be old and used. They hardly ever are.

Also, this carving has helped unemployed workers living in a third-world country to make a decent living. C

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