African Passport masks --anyone familiar with these?

Discussion in 'Tribal Art' started by Lucille.b, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. Lucille.b

    Lucille.b Well-Known Member

    Small group of African items together in a low cost bag at a thrift. The 3 miniature masks have older looking tape on the backs w/someone's name which made me think someone valued them on some level so decided to take a chance on the bag. Realize these may have little or no monetary value, but would love to get thoughts. They measure between just over 3 inches and 4 1/2 inches tall. The wood has a bit of red when viewed in direct sunlight. When I did some research on my own (searching "miniature African mask") found the "passport" masks. Last photo shows other items in the bag. All thoughts appreciated. Thanks for taking a look.

    pass2.jpg pass3.jpg pass54.jpg pass6.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
  2. i need help

    i need help Moderator Moderator

    How interesting these are. That 6 tine fork is so unusual. Looking forward to learning about them. Sorry I can’t help.
     
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  3. Lucille.b

    Lucille.b Well-Known Member

    I almost thought that fork-like piece might be for hair ?? but these are totally out of my field and could be completely wrong. I usually avoid African pieces because there is so much tourist stuff out there, but the price was right and I noticed the older looking tape on the back had a name specified, which meant someone valued them on some level.

    I am not seeing a lot of age in these when in the hand, but could be vintage possibly.

    Looking back at the photos I took, I can see some photos are a bit overexposed. You can see the quarter is completely bleached out. So in real life, everything looks a bit darker. Sorry about that. These were a little bit tricky to photograph for some reason.

    The small mask pieces are pocket sized. I'm looking forward to learning about them as well, if anyone has run across similar. Thanks!
     
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  4. i need help

    i need help Moderator Moderator

    There are some of the masks on Etsy. They don’t seem particularly old.
     
    Lucille.b likes this.
  5. Lucille.b

    Lucille.b Well-Known Member

    There are some on Ebay, too, but not exactly like this. Are the ones you found on Etsy quite similar to these? Again, thinking mine are vintage at best. Easy to ship, and if someone can use a group of three, might just list and see what happens, but still open to comments. Thanks!
     
    judy likes this.
  6. yourturntoloveit

    yourturntoloveit Well-Known Member

    Depending on the size of the comb and the "closeness" of the tines it "might be"(?) a "nit" comb to pick "nits" (lice) out of hair.

    Not a pleasant thought, but lice/nits combs are still being advertised for sale so I guess head lice may remain a problem in some areas.
     
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  7. johnnycb09

    johnnycb09 Well-Known Member

    I think they are cool. Id have bought them. :)
     
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  8. i need help

    i need help Moderator Moderator

    I don’t know if these are comprable to yours. I’m sure you wil get more info to figure out.
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/595743...search_query=passport mask&ref=sr_gallery-1-4
     
    Lucille.b likes this.
  9. Lucille.b

    Lucille.b Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the idea to check Etsy. There seem to be some made out of clay (link above) and others carved from wood. Mine are wood. Two are kind of rough on the back, and one smooth. Could easily be a tourist thing, but maybe still collectible (with any luck.)

    Not your every day item, so will hold tight to see if there are more responses before listing. Thanks for taking a look!
     
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  10. i need help

    i need help Moderator Moderator

    Lucille.b and judy like this.
  11. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    I think the masks are replicas.
    The comb has nothing to do with nits, but is a regular African afro hair comb. The only way to comb African or Melanesian hair is with one of those, fine-toothed combs don't work. The long things are hairpins.
    An afro hair comb is also worn as a hair ornament, which is an easy way to carry it around when you feel you have to keep styling your afro. It has now become a symbol of identity as well. And you can look quite stylish wearing one:
    [​IMG]
     
  12. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

  13. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    Yes ...there's more value in the pins and comb, than the masks....which are newer...and just tourist carvings....
     
  14. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    I can't see much value in the comb and pins either. They all look like souvenirs to me, or am I missing something.
     
    Lucille.b and i need help like this.
  15. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    u might be right...i'm just put off by the masks.
    I've seen and sold real ones.....& these aren't them...

    no offense to you , Lucille......:)
     
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