Global Art & Artifacts

Masks!

Masks and Headgear

Dan Poro Ceremonial Mask. Wood. Spiritual realm. Secret Society. Wood. Liberia. Africa

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The Dan people – an ethnolinguistic grouping – has presence in the mountainous areas of Côte d’Ivoire and adjacent areas of Liberia. This particular mask is from Liberia and specifically used by the Poro . . . a secret society where only males are admitted.   As… Continue reading

Extra Fine Senufo Kepeli-yehe Mask. Bronze. Stand. Korhogo. Côte d’Ivoire Ivory Coast. Africa

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    The Senufo people – numbering between 1 to 1.5 million and aka Siena, Senefo, Sene, Senoufo, and Syénambélé – is a West African ethno-linguistic group consisting of diverse subgroups.   Their masks are varied with a range of materials.   By far the most profound and valuable are… Continue reading

Chieftain Face Mask. Bena Lulua People. Lulua River. DRC / Zaire

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    The Lulua people – who migrated from western Africa – are made up of small regional chiefdoms. They in turn often elect a common leader . . . a village chief.   Masks – like this one – are used in rituals and ceremonies related to agriculture,… Continue reading

Rare Bamun Brass Sheathing Mask. Bamileke People. Cameroon. Africa

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    Sharing stylistic traits with the Bamileke, Tikar and other Western Grassland Cameroon tribes, this particular mask illustrates the complexity of the transfer of styles… through migration and various artists’ interpretations… even as far back as the migrations of the 17th Century.   That is what makes this mask… Continue reading

Wayang Gedog Performance Mask. Indonesian Religious Rituals. Wood. Ceremonials. Bali. Indonesia.

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  Not to be confused with the Wayang Topeng mask used in a dramatic form of dance performances, this mask was used in performances and stories about the kingdom of Janggala . . . about a love story between a prince and princess.   Obviously not used by the… Continue reading

Mid-1900 Suku Horned Helmet Mask. Yaka Influence. DRC. Congo. Africa

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  One of the most complex and intriguing Suku mask that I have every seen!   The Suku (aka Basuku) are people from SW Congo and Northwest Angola. They speak a derivation of the Bantu language of the Niger-Congo group of languages. Suku women cultivate a root vegetable… Continue reading

Bulu Style Ape Mask. Fang Group. Ngi ritual. Cameroon Grasslands. Africa.

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    Bordering on Cameroon and Gabon, the Bulu are part of the larger Fang group and share cultural similarities.   UNIQUE? Yes, because the Bulu practice the ngi ritual… where members wear this “gorilla” mask to ward off sorcery and poisonings. This anti-witchcraft society whose leadership is… Continue reading

Rare Salampasu / Basalampasu Warrior Mask. Mukinka. Kasai River. Congo DNC / Angola

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    There are about 60,000 Salampasu people who live east of the Kasai River (bordering the DRC and Angola). History reveals that they are viewed with terror by adjacent tribes (e.g. Chokwe and Lunda). The Salampasu are governed by territorial leaders who, in turn, supervise village chiefs.… Continue reading

Deeply Carved Luba Kuba Helmet Mask. Tribal. Ceremonial. DRC. Congo.

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    Look at the dynamic carvings of this helmet mask. The high and bulging forehead is quite normal for this ethnic group. But the depth and symbolism of the carvings is quite extraordinary. I have spent some time in trying to determine the significance of this… Continue reading

Museum Quality Chokwe Ceremonial Bird Mask. Angola / DRC. Africa.

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    An object d’art wooden bird mask, with a quality suitable for a museum exhibit. Superbly carved by Chokwe artisans to honor divine ancestors.   Acquired from a Pretoria South African Gallery whose owner has direct access to chiefs in the Congo. Based on my purchases and… Continue reading
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