Featured African Mask, another Pick-o-the-Day

Discussion in 'Tribal Art' started by LoveTheHunt!, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. LoveTheHunt!

    LoveTheHunt! Well-Known Member

    I usually resist African wood items, since most I see are decorative/souvenir types - but this one seems to have a lot more going for it. It is large enough to easily fit over my face, is decorated with both a white material and what looks like maybe clay plaster around the eyes, and has strips of very old/dirty cloth strapped around the back edge.
    I know very little about these masks, except that they are very hard to sell if you can't identify them, so I appeal to the experts I know are here.
    Thanx in advance! Mask-African-fr.jpg Mask-African-ls.jpg Mask-African-bk.jpg
    kyratango, Christmasjoy and aaroncab like this.
  2. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    Your mask appears to be Asian, rather than African.

    Christmasjoy and LoveTheHunt! like this.
  3. LoveTheHunt!

    LoveTheHunt! Well-Known Member

    Ah, see how little I know!
    Any more details, anyone?
  4. i need help

    i need help Moderator Moderator

  5. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    as a rule...african masks don't smile....
    the white kaoiln makes it look aged...but it ain't...
    tourist mask..........I'll let @Taupou ...try to place it..!
    Nigeria may not be far off...:)
    kyratango, judy, Any Jewelry and 2 others like this.
  6. LoveTheHunt!

    LoveTheHunt! Well-Known Member

    Thanx - I see more resemblance to this one than any Asian masks I have seen. I believe the closest mask to mine that I have found so far was also from Nigeria.
    I will say that my mask doesn't look like a very comely "maiden", compared to your example!
    Keep those cards & letter coming!
    judy and Any Jewelry like this.
  7. i need help

    i need help Moderator Moderator

    He/she is grinning! :hilarious:
  8. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    That bamboo doesn't look African.

    LoveTheHunt! and i need help like this.
  9. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    I believe your mask is Igbo or Ibo, from Nigeria.

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/560773411/mask-african-igbo-spiritual-maiden?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=african igbo mask&ref=sr_gallery-1-14

    Masks such as this are used in the Agbogho Mmwo dances.
    It looks like it was made for use (not a tourist item). The series of holes around the edges would be for attaching the cloth covering that goes over the dancer. The carvers don't usually bother with the holes if it was not made to be worn.
    "Worn by men in colorful, elaborately appliquéd bodysuits, maiden spirit masks appear in groups at annual Fame of Maidens festivals, funerals of respected elders, and, more recently, cultural events that celebrate modern Igbo identity. Their presence entertains the community, honors the deceased, and reiterates traditional values. Typically, maiden spirit masks are painted white before a performance, as that color is associated with spiritual purity." (Art Institute of Chicago)
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  10. i need help

    i need help Moderator Moderator

    Ok, I see the differences from the one I found.
    kyratango, LoveTheHunt! and judy like this.
  11. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Same culture, similar Maiden mask, that is perfect for an initial search.:)

    Scar tattoos, like on LtH's mask, are typical for West Africa (and some other parts of the world). Asia has soot or ink tattoos.
  12. Diggummup

    Diggummup Well-Known Member

    I had some similar once that I purchased for $10 each. All tourist types African, Ivory coast from the Punu, the Guro and the Baule tribes. I averaged a little over $40 each between the 6.

  13. Kevin Meade

    Kevin Meade Well-Known Member

    I am late to the party but your mask has already been identified correctly and is for sure Igbo or at least in Igbo form.
    Many of the Igbo maiden spirit masks have large and elaborate headdress on the top of the mask. Here is one from my collection with an average sized headdress. Sorry , it is rather dark in that room this morning so the pictures aren't the best. I have seen some massive and extremely fancy maiden masks over the years but was only ever able to add this one to the collection.

    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
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