From our personal collection, on offer is a powerful circumcision mask from the Marka people of Mali. Such masks are worn & danced during special ceremonies, especially circumcision rituals for boys.
The surface of the characteristically narrow, elongated face has been sheathed with thin sheets of brass. Representing the tears & blood induced during the circumcision ceremony, slender pendulous brass strips tipped with red fringe are attached on either side of the eyes & along the length of the nose. Also accented by red threads, a wooden crest crowns the mask, while braided, multi-tasseled threads frame the face. A colorful fringed & embroidered cloth is attached to the mask & would be used to help hide the wearer. Although such a cloth can be changed during the life of a mask, this may well be the original fabric.
Despite some fraying & discoloration of the cloth & threads, this outstanding mask is in very good overall condition, & makes a dramatic display.