Title

Bassa Mask

Creator

Preview

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Geography

Liberia, Africa

Culture

Bassa people

Medium

Wood

Dimensions

8 3/16 x 4 10/16 x 3 8/16 in. (20.7 x 11.7 x 8.89 cm)

10.967 oz. (310.9 g)

Credit Line

Bequest of David P. Harris ('46), 2020

Accession Number

2020.10

Provenance

Purchased from David P. Harris ('46) Von Barghahn Gallery in Washington D.C. on January 2, 1975.

References

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/

Description

This rare Liberian mask, smoothly carved from a heavy dark wood, has several characteristic features of Bassa Work: the so-called quarter-moon configuration; the vertical plaits extending down to the forehead; the straight nose with bored nostrils; the protruding lips, this time with two holes in the upper lip into which "teeth" were. originally set; simply delineated ears which harmonize with the hairdo; a straight and pointed chin. Usual for these masks are the rectangular eye openings. There are three rather large holes near the top edge of the piece, where the mask was attached obliquely to its basket hood structure, and many close-set holes around the edges of both sides of the facial area.

2020.10.pdf (4840 kB)
Purchase Receipt and Supporting Documents

2020.10c.jpg (4504 kB)
Alternate view

2020.10e.jpg (5421 kB)
Alternate view

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