The ‘coffee-bean’ eyes, flattened nose, wide mouth and projecting forehead are characteristic of masks of the We tribal group (formerly called the Ngere). This mask, described as a rattle and a pendant mask worn by a dancer among his hangings, might instead be a hand mask containing fetish material ; one such is illustrated in Fischer and Himmelheber (1984: fig. 97), and the cultural affinity between the Dan and the We could perhaps allow this analogy.
The mask is quite deep, and the cavity is covered with varnished cloth attached by brass upholstery nails. The iron spike and loop on top may be for mounting the mask in a shrine or spirit house.
Margaret Carey, 1997
Entry taken from Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection, Vol. 2: Pacific, African and Native North American Art, edited by Steven Hooper (Yale University Press, 1997) p. 147.
Purchased by the Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia from Kenelm Digby-Jones, London, in 1975 out of funds provided by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury.
Not on display
Title/Description: Pendant mask
Object Type: Mask
Measurements: h. 143 x w. 78 x d. 70 mm
Accession Number: 620
Historic Period: 20th century
Cultural Group: We
Credit Line: Purchased with support from Robert and Lisa Sainsbury, 1975