Central Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chokwe peoples, ca. early to mid 20th century CE. A nicely-detailed dance mask, carved from a single piece of light-brown hard wood, in the form of a long-nosed African pig. The front of the mask has an elongated snout, two perky ears, a smooth brow, and almond-shaped eyes with central slits; all details are painted in hues of white and dark-brown, with red-orange detailing the interior of both ears and nose. The peripheries are lined with dozens of small pierced holes from which to suspend a large textile costume, and the inside displays a wonderful smooth patina along the outer edges. Size: 5.5" W x 11.375" H (14 cm x 28.9 cm).
Provenance: private San Francisco, California, USA collection
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Repairs to both ears with small chips and light adhesive residue along break lines. Surface wear and abrasions commensurate with age, small losses to nose, ears, and peripheries, with fading and darkening to pigmentation. Light earthen deposits throughout, and nice smooth patina along peripheries of verso. Old inventory number "C1026" in gold ink behind one ear.