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Re: [African_Arts] Can anybody help... I think these are rare, but I'm a bit new at this!

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  • Lee Rubinstein
    Wayne: Firstly, I recommend reading Message 3762 and some of the articles cited therein -- particularly Joseph Cornet, African Art and Authenticity, (African
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 25, 2009
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      Firstly, I recommend reading Message 3762 and some of the articles cited therein -- particularly Joseph Cornet, "African Art and Authenticity," (African Arts IX: 1/October, 1975, pp. 52-55) -- to develop a sense of the difficulty and complexity (and fascination!) of assessing authenticity of Congolese works -- a regionally focused discussion with broad application to considering works from throughout the African continent.

      More specifically, we have hosted a number of previous discussions in the group about the Nkisi Nkondi (plural: minkisi minkondi), so there are several strings of messages that include references and links to related objects from Kongo, Sundi, Yombe and Vili peoples of Congo (PRC) as well as links to  additional resources that I think you will find helpful in researching your figures -- including Watt MacGaffey's Astonishment and Power (Washington, DC:  Smithsonian Institution,1993).  Among other postings pertaining to minkisi are:
      (As a general point of information, previous messages can always be easily searched for any topic by simply going to the messages section and entering, for instance, nkisi or minkisi, "Kuba mask," etc., in the search field.)

      The mask you presented, too, appears likely to fall within a range of contemporary reproductions and creative variations on traditional Kuba mask forms including Ngaady a Mwaash, bwoom, mukyeem/mukenga...  To my eye, this mask displays aspects of a variety of these traditional mask forms from peoples of the Kuba culture complex.  The best way to enhance your ability to consider identity and authenticity of your mask is to view and consider a broad range of potentially related examples and the accompanying discussions and documentation of origins of the examples you find.


      On Oct 25, 2009, at 11:55 AM, wayne10810@... wrote:

      Hi, being relatively new in this field I'm really getting into it! I found these
      2 masks today and photographed them.Can anyone tell me if they are a great find?
      The info I have is that they are Kuba (Congo) and ceremonial masks worn by the
      elders. (early 20th Century). any valuation or information would be greatly
      appreciated. Regards (also have 2 fetish statues..?) (in my album "latest
      http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/African_ Arts/photos/ album/1409523332 /pic/list? )

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