Bassa Mask, end XIXth Early XXth.
H= 31 cm , 30 cm on the custom made metal stand. Small holes around the rim on the back and differences of color attest the fact this mask was originally worn on a custum and has danced . Natural abrasion.
Provenance: From a deceased known abstract Artist in Antwerp who wrote several books, one of them about Chinese Calligraphy.
Bassa masks are often confounded with the Dan mask but they have distinctive differences, they juts forward, along with the outward leaning, rounded forehead, result from the fact that these masks are not worn directly over the face. Instead, they are tied, at about a forty-five degree angle, to the front edge of a basketry structure, or other headdress, which fits over the wearer's head, allowing the impersonator to see out below the mask proper.
Notice the opposition of the upper and lower parts of the head, the line of the forehead and coiffure forming an obtuse angle with the lower face and jaw. In modern examples this may almost be a right angle; in older examples, the angle is less marked.
The coiffure is elaborate and always carved into a series of wide braided roles covering the head
Although worn by men during the passage rites to adulthood, Gela masks have a delicate, feminine look and are danced with graceful, gliding movements.
David Norden is a third generation antique dealers, dealing in African Art in Antwerp-Belgium since 1992.
All lots from David Norden's collection are sold with a written description of the tribe and David Norden private opinion .
May be viewed or picked up in David Norden's Buy African Antiques Shop in Antwerp.
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Please note: seller guarantees the authenticity as described.