This handsome Marka mask is a must have for any collector of African art. The Marka are a people who live in what is now known as Mali, a non-coastal country in West Africa. Their masks are very distinct. The faces of the masks are gaunt and pointed in beautiful fashion. Small raised lips figure at the bottom of the piece, which is contrasted by a typical long nose. The eyes are shaped downward, which is a sign of respect in many African masks. Furthermore, the Marka would often use metal (whether tin, copper, or bronze) sheeting to cover the carved wood, which is kept in my small tacks. Cotton tassels extend from various parts of the mask. This mask has six points at the top, which may depict the combining of human and antelope features. The antelope is revered among this people for its speed. The Marka would traditionally use these masks as they made contact with the spirit world. This mask is a lovely example of this remarkable people's culture.
W: 6 3/4 in. H: 15 1/2 in.