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Mask - Wood - Provenance Donald Taitt - Ituri - Congo DRC

Mask - Wood - Provenance Donald Taitt - Ituri - Congo DRC

Provenance: Donald Taitt, an abstract painter from Paris born in 1930 who collected African Art..

This mask is coming from the Ituri Rainforest in northeastern Congo where a lot of small tribes live, mostly unknown but with great stylistic similarities and collectively referred to as ‘Ituri masks’ .

The present mask is visibly very old with clearly several layers of white, red, and brown pigments on his cubistic carved surface. The half moon ears nearly disappeared due to erosion, the eyes are two small rounded squares , the mouth is linear with three lines on both sides, the cheeks a red cross, under layer is dark, with some white kaolin remains, all flat surfaces. This is pure ‘Cubism’ – and yet it comes from so-called ‘primitive art’!
This extremely interesting mask from the Ituri Rainforest in the Congo, is made of light brown coloured, lightweight wood, the under layer is black pigmented and subsequently coloured in white on the front side with kaolin . Brown on the inside more shiny patina on the lower inside part. Overall it shows excellent old usage patina on the front and back, slight insect damages and age-related damage (colour scuffed and edges chipped).
Masks from this area are quite rare to find, this one has a strong presence, and comes from the well known Donald Taitt collection.

First half of the 20th century;
H: 26 cm. (ME)

Photo ill.: Pygmy-Elder-in-Mask by Randy Olson 2004

Object Mask
Indigenous object name Provenance Donald Taitt
Ethnic group/ culture Ituri
Region/ country Congo DRC
Material Wood
Period 1st half 20th century
Condition Vintage - used with visible signs of wear
Sold with stand Yes
Dimensions 26×19×11 cm
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