Passports – Case VIII


This mask looks like terra cotta but it is actually stone. The simplicity of the form allows the material to express itself. The mask has a monolithic presence that is the essence of the Toma spirit.

Toma - Passports_Case8-1

This powerful and mysterious family mask is one of the oldest in the exhibition. Its forehead is covered with fetish material, including a remnant of red cloth. Another fetish bundle is on the verso.

Toma - Passports_Case8-2

The strong form of this nyangbai mask, the feminine counterpart of the enormous lana mask of the Toma people, has a special place in my heart. The typical nyangbai has a high domed projecting face, with a strong nose and no mouth. The passport and personal masks in this case are a virtual survey of variations on the Toma mask form.

Toma - Passports_Case8-3