African Mask Photograph
This photograph of an African mask is printed on canvas and framed in a gilded gold frame.
This African mask is carved out of ivory for the “Oba” (king) of Benin, and is believed to be dated from the 16th Century. This mask was actually not worn over the face, but rather as a pendant, either around the neck like a necklace or hanging from the king’s hip, like a belt.
Looking closely, one can see a bunch of little faces – these are carved on top of the head like a crown, as well as around the neck like a collar. These represent Portuguese traders, who actively traded with the Benin people at the time.