The wood carving industry of the Akan of Ghana is an indigenous craft tradition that remains vital in a world of rapid change. Wood carving has retained its economic and cultural importance for hundreds of years. Many carvers recreate masks from around Africa to sell in the craft market in Accra. These masks are not used traditionally, but produced for tourists as decoration only. Still they are outstanding creations which reveal the art of the Ghanaian carver. This mask is known throughout Ghana as the Fulani female mask. Fulani are nomadic people who have been influential in regional politics, economics, and histories throughout western Africa for over a thousand years. They were also responsible for introducing and spreading Islam throughout much of western Africa. Fulani have a huge respect for beauty. Beauty is considered very important and one of the ways this is shown is through tattoos that are put all over the body.
In the female Fulani mask, the braids denote the onset of puberty up to the first years after marriage. Long plaits of hair indicate the girl is considered particularly beautiful and will partake in judging the performance of young men in dancing rituals. Local artists in Ghana make these unique masks and sculptures. Most of these works of arts enact a story being told. This mask was purchased on behalf of the dealer by the Chief of the Mo tribe.
Sese wood , Brass inserts , Cowry shells , Beads
Height : 16″ (40.6cm)