Passport Mask
Dan, Liberia
Early 20th Century
Private European Collection

Ma-Go is the traditional term for these miniature masks meaning small head; the term passport has been used by westerners to describe the way these small masks are used; and indeed they are sometimes used as a passport; a symbol of their clan when they travel from village to village. But these masks also have a more important individual value; they serve as protection and carry spirits inside them to ward off evil. This example is simply gorgeous; with a deeply pierced forehead ( once carrying long strands of beads ) and beautiful down cast lips. The wood is hard and eroded in areas from exposure; but the mask is very much intact and quite an impressive example.

This mask stands 4 inches in height.

SOLD / IN 10-9-11