My only purchase was from Ibrahim, a dealer in african masks, who rents some space from the owner of a shop just outside the fair. He has no official designation, he just drives in and sets up where he has a space. I have purchased masks from him in previous years, and I admire his selection of high-quality wood carvings from many African tribes. I believe that he travels to Africa to obtain his wares.
|Masks on my living room wall. The two small ones are this year's purchase.|
All three masks have a central bird figure above the face. In the new mask to the right, the bird leans over, and its beak also forms the nose of the mask. This identifies them as coming from Ivory Coast, from the Guro division of the Senufo people. We suspect that our masks were used in a village because their interiors smell strongly but pleasantly of wood smoke, as if they have been near a campfire, but neither the interiors nor the beautifully finished exteriors show any signs of burning. Of course this is only a guess.
For more information on the mask we've owned for a while, see this blog post that I did when we bought that mask.