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Lot 0345
**First Time At Auction**

West Africa, Liberia or Sierra Leone, Mende people, ca. early to mid 20th C. CE. A large carved wooden mask characterized by triangular eyes, a huge forehead, a miniscule nose, and a beautiful multi-part coiffure with a slender topknot and a vertical bar of X-shaped designs. The face sits atop large integral circular rings, and the base displays a tight horizontal row of minute perforations to hold a draped costume garment. This type of mask is used by a female society within the Mende culture, on important occasions: handing down justice, attending funeral ceremonies, and going through initiation rites. In use, the masks have long costumes attached to cover the entirety of the body so that the identities of the women are not known. This example boasts a rich brown patina across the majority of exposed surfaces, and provides for a wonderful appearance. Size: 14.5" H (36.8 cm).

Provenance: ex-Nick Poolos collection, Adeon Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA acquired before 1970

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

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#128476

Condition

Age-commensurate surface wear, losses to topknot, coiffure, face, and base, with rich brown patina and light earthen deposits throughout.

Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

20th C. Mende Bundu Wooden Helmet Mask

Estimate $300 - $450Jul 30, 2018
Louisville, CO, USA