Passport Mask

Bassa, Liberia
Early 20th Century
PROVENANCE: Oscar Agard Collection, Newark, NJ. Acquired in the 1970's, then by descent.

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 in order for the carrier to benefit from its protective powers. This mask is distinctly Bassa. The domed forehead, protruding nose/mouth, and elaborately carved rippled hairstyle gives this mask a dramatic profile. These characteristics are common in Bassa aesthetics. The mask has been heavily handled, which can be seen in the difference in patna from the edges of the mask inward.

Height: 4 " in.
IN 4-2-14 / Price on Request