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X86.2972 Jolly Face Mask


Object Name: Jolly Face Mask
Artist: Amara Kamara
Place of Origin: Freetown, Sierra Leone
Cultural Group: Temne peoples
Materials Used: Wood, pigment, fabric, netting, beads, metal, fiber
Date: 1980’s
Dimensions: L: 19.1 cm, H: 75.0 cm, D: 14.0 cm (L: 7.5 in, H: 29.5 in, D: 5.5 in)
Credit line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Anonymous Gift. X86.2972

Another mask to be considered is from Freetown and was more likely carved by Temne artist Amara Kamara who at the time of my research had several sculptures of Mammy Wata in his home. The female Hindu facial mark on the forehead and between the eyes indicates that this character may represent Mammy Wata with dreadlocks, possibly a reference to Rasta boys of the Caribbean and by extension the mermaids Lasiren and/or Yemanja. A photograph of the mask worn with complete costume is revealing. The suit, assembled and worn by Amara Kamara, includes a blond wig, lace scarf, and cloth shawl together with a full-length skirt, long stockings, and gloves. Rather than a representation of Mammy Wata, this character may simply depict a Freetown woman, sought by young men through the spirit of Mammy Wata.

Source: Drewal, Henry John. (2008) “Mami Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and Its Diasporas”, Los Angeles, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. page 79

SKU: X86.2972 Category:

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