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

Miniature Mask

Mano, Liberia
19th-early 20th century

Provenance: Collected in the 1950’s by Franco Monti, Milan

Miniature masks bear many names: the most common is ma go (small head), but depending on scholarship it has also be named yi luo po (thing which water is poured over), gba po (thing which is fed), or nyonkula (substitute for the ancestors). Echoing the variety of names, they fulfill a variety of functions. Anyone who has a spiritual connection with a mask, or whose family owns an important mask, is entitled to commission a miniature. Rubbed with oil and food, they are wrapped up and kept on the owner’s body or among his possessions and function as portable and personal forms that share the power and protective force of the full-sized mask.

Miniature Mask

Mano, Liberia
19th-early 20th century

Provenance: Collected in the 1950’s by Franco Monti, Milan

Miniature masks bear many names: the most common is ma go (small head), but depending on scholarship it has also be named yi luo po (thing which water is poured over), gba po (thing which is fed), or nyonkula (substitute for the ancestors). Echoing the variety of names, they fulfill a variety of functions. Anyone who has a spiritual connection with a mask, or whose family owns an important mask, is entitled to commission a miniature. Rubbed with oil and food, they are wrapped up and kept on the owner’s body or among his possessions and function as portable and personal forms that share the power and protective force of the full-sized mask.

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