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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
New York City, NY
+1 917 733 9589

Passport Mask

Bassa, Liberia
Early 20th Century

Provenance: Old collection from The Netherlands.

Passport masks are often small renditions of larger masks that can harness power from an ancestor spirit. These smaller masks can fit into the palm of a hand and are carried on the person so the carrier can benefit from its protective powers. This mask is distinctly Bassa. The protruding nose and mouth, and carved rippled hairstyle gives this mask a dramatic profile. The mask has been heavily handled, and has a very dark and lustrous patina. At each side of the maskette are two small fiber bundles woven through the attachment piercings.

Passport Mask

Bassa, Liberia
Early 20th Century

Provenance: Old collection from The Netherlands.

Passport masks are often small renditions of larger masks that can harness power from an ancestor spirit. These smaller masks can fit into the palm of a hand and are carried on the person so the carrier can benefit from its protective powers. This mask is distinctly Bassa. The protruding nose and mouth, and carved rippled hairstyle gives this mask a dramatic profile. The mask has been heavily handled, and has a very dark and lustrous patina. At each side of the maskette are two small fiber bundles woven through the attachment piercings.

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