Cap mask

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Label Text
Although this mask is the senior entertainment mask of the men's No association, it emphasizes desirable traits for women to emulate through its graceful, smooth dance style. It was not worn in front of the dancer's face but was attached to a basketlike frame that was concealed by the costume and fully covered the dancer's head. The wearer looked out from under the mask through openings in the costume.
Most examples have a stained black surface that differs from the natural aged wood of this piece.
Wood mask, in a concave oval shape, with a pointed chin, cross hatched hairstyle with projecting pegs, a cross hatched band across the forehead, between the eyes and on the nose and chin, with a triangle from the corner of the eyes to the ear. Four bone teeth extend from the protruding mouth.
Exhibition History
The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection Highlights, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009-June 4, 2014
African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., February 15, 2007-March 31, 2009
For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Paul and Ruth Tishman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1981
Published References
Jenke, Veronika. 2007. Explore! African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection. Exhibition booklet. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, p. 27.
Kreamer, Christine Mullen. 2006. "African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection." Tribal Arts 43, p. 90, no. 18.
Kreamer, Christine Mullen, Bryna Freyer and Andrea Nicolls. 2007. African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, pp. 108-109, 156-157, fig. 38, no. 47.
Vogel, Susan (ed). 1981. For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Paul and Ruth Tishman Collection. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 60-61, no. 27.
Topic
female
National Museum of African Art
Bassa artist
Credit Line
Gift of Walt Disney World Co., a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company
Medium
Wood, bone, iron
Dimensions
H x W x D: 21.3 x 14.6 x 7.8 cm (8 3/8 x 5 3/4 x 3 1/16 in.)
See more items in
National Museum of African Art Collection
Geography
Liberia
Late 19th-early 20th century
Type
Mask
Object number
2005-6-54