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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Masterpieces of African Art : Brong Brass Mask
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Brong Brass Mask - PF.3301
Origin: Western Ghana/Ivory Coast
Circa: 18th th Century AD to 19th th Century AD
Dimensions: 9.625" (24.4cm) high x 6" (15.2cm) wide
Catalogue: V19
Collection: African
Style: Akan
Medium: Brass


Location: Great Britain
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Description
The Brong are a tribe of the Akan cluster who lived mainly in the area to the north of Asante, but also extended westwards into the Bonduku area of the Ivory Coast. Brong tribe's metal work is sculpturally superior than many other tribes in Africa, even the Asante tribe. A fine example of such superb artistry, this brass mask of abstract quality radiates with its unique beauty and grace that our eyes cannot pass by. The small slit-eyes, low flat, nose, and the open mouth on smooth brass surface creates elegant, gentle expression. The open mouth displays intricately sculpted teeth, and a beard encircles the narrow chin. To further accentuate the delicate beauty of the mask, the surface of the mask is enhanced with small, arching line patterns. Sculpted so skillfully and lovingly, this brass mask perhaps represents an image of an ancestor who possesses infinite power and wisdom. Perhaps this exquisite mask was used in special rituals and ceremonies to invoke ancestral spirit which helped the ancient people of Brong through hardships. As we look at the mask today, we certainly appreciate its artistic quality as well as its cultural significance. - (PF.3301)

 

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