Global Art & Artifacts

mask

Pre Columbian Teotihuacan Clay Bust. Figure. Statue. Teotihuacan Culture. Mesoamerica. Mexico

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    Teotihuacan is an ancient Mesoamerican city located 30 miles northeast of Mexico City. The city – which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 – was settled in early 400 B.C. and evolved into a powerful and influential city by 400 A.D. However, when the… Continue reading

Marka Mask. Bamana Kingdom / People. Marka Tribe. Mali. Africa

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  The over 2 million Bamana people form the largest ethnic group in Mali and occupy the savannah in the central portion of the country. The Bamana (aka Bambara) kingdom was founded in the 17th Century and reached their height of power in the mid- to late-1700s.   The Marka… Continue reading

Wooden Wall Mask. Yawn. Artist signed. Bali. Indonesia.

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    I have run across a few of these “yawn” masks over the last few years and have not been impressed. But this one is different.   This is an artisan’s stunning interpretation of what is supposed to be a satisfying gesture. But with the wrinkled forehead, flared… Continue reading

Vintage Balinese Rangda Mask. Mythology. Durga. Bali.

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    Rangda – a dramatic manifestation of the Goddess of the Underworld, Durga – is the demon queen of the Leyaks. Leyaks are spirit/ghost-like figures in Bali that appear as humans during the daylight but – at night – their head and entrails break off from their bodies… Continue reading

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

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
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