"Salampasu Passport Masks - Dcr"Mid 20th Century. Very nicely preserved
Height wicker hat 5 cm
Height wicker beard 4 cm
Width 5 cm.
Depth 5,5 cm.
Wood, wicker, and rope.
From the Belgian collector of M. Gi Mateusen.
These masquettes embody protective spirits. Sometimes they are used as a sacred object for oath taking and making sacrifices. They are usually small copies (less than 8") of full-sized masks whose spirit may be contacted by manipulating the small mask The "passport" masks may also act as witnesses during initiation ceremonies and protect the owner when he is away from home. ( text from arttribal.com ).
Salampasu masks made for initiation purposes are characterized by a bulging forehead, slanted eyes, a triangular nose and a rectangular mouth displaying an intimidating set of teeth. The heads are often covered with bamboo or raffia or rattan-like decorations.