4 x 2 14/16 x 1 10/16 in. (10.6 x 5.2 x 4 cm)
3.834 oz. (108.7 g)
Bequest of David P. Harris ('46), 2020
Purchased from Von Barghahn Gallery in 1974.
Brad Hostetler, with Ani Parnagian, "From Private to Public: The Collection of David P. Harris," in Ethiopian Objects in the Blick-Harris Study Collection: Art, Context, and the Persistence of Form, eds. Brad Hostetler, and Lynn Jones, Peregrinations: Journal of Medieval Art & Architecture 8, no. 1 (Spring 2022): 5–25. https://digital.kenyon.edu/perejournal/vol8/iss1/1/
This small. elegant Bassa mask, carved from a heavy black wood, displays a number of characteristic Bassa features: the hairdo with vertical plaits extending down onto the forehead; vertical scarification running downward to the brow and tip of the nose and represented by pairs of diagonal lines meeting in the middle (similar to the decorations on the hair plaits); eyes in the form of horizontal slits; nostrils consisting of simple broad slits. On the other hand, the chin is rounder than is typical. The ears of this mask are barely visible, indicated by very shallow carving. The concave back of the mask is smooth. There are three holes drilled through the piece near the top edges, one in the center, and one on each side.