Face Mask

Face Mask

early 1900s

Wood, metal, cloth, fur

Overall: 38.1 cm (15 in.)

Gift of Katherine C. White 1971.294

Description

Tubular eyes and the fringe of carved leopard canine teeth identify this mask as male. Such masks appeared only during very important moments. The dancer wore a leopard skin over his head and shoulders, held an elephant's tusk in his hand, and had his face painted white. The masks function as peacemakers; they led soldiers into battle, and administered justice.

See also
Collection: 
African Art
Department: 
African Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture

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