Global Art & Artifacts

mask

Unique and Rare Djimini Mask.  Wood and Leather.  Côte d’Ivoire

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    The Djimini (aka Dyimini) people of Cote d’lvoire are part of  the larger Senufo group.  Heavily into story telling about their history and traditions, this group believes in animism as their main religious practice.  Everything, everything has a spirit inside it . .  the… Continue reading

Yaka Ndeemba Mask.  n-khanda / Mukanda Ceremonial.  Northern Yaka.  Northern DRC Congo

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  After a long history of forced migration and union with other groups, the Yaka have been an independent society since the 19th century.  Living in the northern Congo, the Yaka are primarily hunters, although they also practice small scale farming.  The Yaka has a tight-knit control… Continue reading

Bronze Passport Mask.  Igbo Tribe.  Lost Wax.  Igbo-Ukwu. Nigeria.

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    The people of Igbo-Ukwu (southeast of Onitsha), ancestors of present-day Igbo, were proficient in metal working art in the 9th century (+ or – years depending on what expert you speak with). They are thought to be the earliest smithers (hammering, bending, twisting & incising) of copper and… Continue reading

Punu Lumbo Okuyi Mask.  Funerary.  Ancestral.  Ogooue River region.  Gabon

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    Well known for white-faced masks (Okuyi), the ethnic group that this was acquired from (Mpongwe) has two separate uses for masks like this.   Costumed ceremonies include rites of passage and funerary events.   This mask was used for the later.  The typical Okuyi performer wears a… Continue reading

Egyptian Goddess Isis Mask.  Stone.  Valley of Kings.  Egypt.

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    Original pieces from ancient Egypt are almost impossible to acquire at a reasonable price.  And there are the issues of importing, exporting, authentication and language.   With that said, here is an item that is old but not necessarily ancient.   Isis (aka Aset) – a major… Continue reading

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
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