Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Marka Helmet Mask Brass Ornamentation Mali African Art

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Title Marka Helmet Mask Brass Ornamentation Mali African Art
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Mali
People Marka, see also Bamana or Malinke
Materials Wood, brass, shells, cotton
Approximate Age 20th century
Height (in) 32
Width (in) 9
Depth (in) 11
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Oxidation, small cracks and scuffs

Additional Information:

The Marka, Bamana and Malinke are known for their elaborate and diversified masks. But it should be noted that masks of this beauty and quality are becoming rare to find on the market. In these cultures, such masks are probably related to the N'Tomo initiation masks worn by young boys. Marka masks are usually covered with brass sheet. They were also used as shrine pieces and were receiving sacrificial material. Its imposing shape and its decoration as well as its worn surface make this piece unique and desirable!

The Marka, living in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso are neighbors of the Bamana. Today they are heavily Islamic, however they often retain the use of masks and figures for ceremonies and rituals closely related to the Bamana.

Recommended Reading:

Kerchache's ART OF AFRICA