South America

Tukuma initiation mask from the Amazon

Q:  I have five of what I think are women coming of age ceremonial masks. I would love to get an appraisal. Please let me know how you would like to proceed. Thank you very much for your help!  Nikki, 1164

A:  Thanks for sending the pictures. Instead of paying me for appraising your five Tukuna masks, let’s see if we can get some comments from from our readers. Like the one pictured here, all have descriptions and prices stapled to the bark cloth. This one is priced at $35, the others range up to $85. When were they brought back from the Amazon? If that was in the 1970’s, the value might be much higher. Also, it would be good to know who first acquired this interesting collection.

The Tukuma people live deep in the rain forest where Colombia, Peru and Brazil come together. These interesting artifacts, from Amazon Indian cultures that are rapidly diminishing, need to be better understood and preserved.  A

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