The Bassa people are an ethnic group in Liberia who are known for their intricate and beautiful wooden masks.
This small mask is a miniature Bassa mask used during the rites of passage to the adulthood.
The mask measures 13 cm in height, and is 21cm when placed on its stand. The back of the mask is light in color, the front has a dark, shiny patina that suggests it has been used in ceremonies and is quite old. The mask has a prominent big nose, which is an uncommon feature of Bassa masks, but gives it a lot of character.
The top of the mask is flat, which is another typical feature of Bassa masks. The little holes all around the rim of the mask may have been used to attach a beard to it, or to fix it to a costume or other ceremonial object during use.
Overall, the small Bassa mask from Liberia in wood coming from Bob Germ collection in Hoboken, Belgium is a beautiful and unique piece of African art, that represents the rich cultural heritage of the Bassa people.