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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Archive : Marka Ceremonial Mask
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Marka Ceremonial Mask - PF.3051
Origin: Mali/Burkina Faso
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 13.5" (34.3cm) high x 6.25" (15.9cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Wood and Brass

Additional Information: SOLD
Location: United States
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Ancient African cultures were highly religious, with their religious ceremonies and practice well incorporated into their daily lives. Everything in life was interconnected with religious ideology and views and art served the function of carrying out their beliefs and rituals. In the Marka (sometimes spelled Warka) tribe, the ornate masks played an important role in ritual ceremonies, not to mention the artists who created the exquisite masks who held significant role in the community. This Marka ceremonial mask, thus, is not only remarkable in its aesthetic sense but also in the functional significance. The detail and effort invested in this beautiful mask undoubtedly show how crucial the rituals were to ancient Africans. The beauty of this Marka mask lies in the elongated form of the face and the intricate details of enhancement. The mask was first carved in hard wood and then covered with repousse brass plating. The oval shaped face is defined with intricate dot motif pattern. The eyebrows are formed with elegant arching lines of indented dot patterns on the brass, and cheeks are also enhanced with vertical lines that enforce the elongation of the oval facial shape. The dividing lines of dots in the middle of forehead create a perfect sense of symmetry within the face. Furthermore, the two ornamental pieces on either side of the face and the long, horn-like forms arranged on the head add elegant shape and volume to the mask. One can only imagine how powerful and magical the African rituals were like, performed with such a beautiful art object. - (PF.3051)


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