Obamba mask, Gabon

Wood, kaolinite, rope, nails

11 x 4 x 6 1/3 in. (28 x 20 x 17 cm)


About this object

This mask from Gabon is characterized by the pronounced forehead and nose. The face is whitened with kaolin and highlighted with a red horizontal band across the middle of the face, which is probably made from powder derived from the bark of the tukula tree. These styIised masks are common to several cultures and therefore it is difficult to give a precise attribution to this mask in terms of origin. Its polychrome sections, clearly defined volumes, and the shape of the forehead suggest an Obamba attribution, but these characteristics can also be found among the neighboring Aduma and Fang peoples.