The masks are one of the elements in African art and culture that most influenced Western culture. They vary greatly from one culture to another, though almost all have spiritual traits. Whether representing an animal, an ancestor or a feminine figure, the maker of the mask has a special consideration within the tribe, considered to be in direct contact with the spiritual world. In African culture there is a difference between the outer look and the essence, and it is precisely this essence that is captured by the mask maker. Not everyone can wear a mask, only the chosen ones because of the strength it requires. This mask portrays the traditional hair style of the Fula tribe. The Fula or Fulani live mainly in West Africa and reflect a genetic intermix of people with North African, West African and Arabian origins. They are traditionally a nomadic, pastoralist trading people. Women have a lot of hair, and their secret is the use of an ancient lotion. They use an ointment that comes from the milk of the cow, after fermentation.
|Dimensions||7.5 × 13 × 74.5 cm|