Dance mask complete with its headdress
This triangular shaped wooden mask is painted with tukola (powdered camwood) which gives it this vibrant orange-red colour. The cap is made of raffia ‘hair’ dyed with black swamp mud, with a conical point on the crown. The reverse of the mask shows the remnants of material that would have covered the performer. The facial features shows closed or downward-looking eyes above which sits one conjoined v-shaped eyebrow. The open mouth shows pointed teeth that have been whitened with kaolin, also used for the markings around the ears. There are patches of wear particularly around the eyes and nose. The small, evenly spaced holes running around the chin of the mask suggest the attachment of an additional costume. Scarification or patterning marks are evident on the forehead and both cheeks.
Entry written for VADs website (www.vads.ac.uk)
Purchased by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury from K. J. Hewett in 1973.
Accessioned into the Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia circa 1989.