Loma/Toma Shrine Mask – Liberia or Guinea

This stunning Loma shrine mask (bakarogi) shows a masterful blend of angularity and curvature. Suggestions of geometric planes build with great strength across the lower face, contrasting with a round forehead scored with three wrinkles spanning the full brow. Eyeless sockets recede dramatically under the ridged brow, creating deep shadows and emphasizing the architecture of the face. Under a narrow nose, two teeth descend from the center of the upper lip, curving outward like fangs toward the corners of the mouth. Remnants of a medicinal charge are found at the top of the head. This is a rare mask with undeniable presence and sculptural power.

 

Early 20th century
Wood, animal teeth
8” h
Provenance: Vittorio Mangio, Milan, 1980; Leo van Oosterom, The Hague, 1980–1982; Galerie Mamadou Keita, Amsterdam, 1982–1983; Dirk Uythof, The Hague, 1983–2013; Mamdou Keita Collection, Amsterdam; Private Dutch collection
#556
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