Are you on the lookout for some unique décor for your home? You may want to try out masks and show-piece weapons for your wall. When choosing them, you must ensure they look as natural as possible. Lack of polish and a few signs of wear lend to the appeal of such décor and artwork. You also must get furniture with neutral woods or dark woods to complement the décor.
If you are sold on getting natural, rustic décor, you may want to look at African tribal masks. They are not as frequent as some believe, and an original one is often hand-crafted and one-of-a-kind. Furthermore, hand-crafted décors are almost always unique from one another, especially when the materials being used are almost entirely natural, like in the case of African tribal masks. The tricky part, however, is to differentiate unique and handmade tribal masks from the other mass-made ones.
Hardwood is more often used.
Most authentic and unique African tribal masks use hardwoods instead of softwoods. The more durable and robust the wood, the greater the quality and value of the mask become. Softwood is generally quite flexible but also more susceptible to natural wear. At most, you can find small items and instruments hand-crafted in Africa using softwood.
Check for the polish to cover cracks.
Since authentic and unique African tribal masks are handmade, they are more susceptible to sculpting defects. Now, it may not be possible for everyone to go to Africa and select the best-made masks for their home, but there are ways to find masks that have flaws in them. One of the most common problems when making these masks is cracked or split wood; a common fix to this is the use of sawdust and glue. The cracks are then covered with black polish, but they often cover up the natural features of the wood so you can spot them if you look carefully enough.
Get some information from the seller.
If the African tribal mask you plan to buy is authentic, the dealer should have some information about it. In case the mask maker or seller is giving conflicting information or has no information at all, you may be buying from the wrong person. It is common to see sellers of handmade artwork who are equally passionate about art and Africa in general.
Choose a mask according to its meaning and size.
Most people new to buying African tribal masks buy the biggest of them all and base their selection according to the color and patterns of the mask. A better way of selection is to consider the mask’s meaning and size. Every mask is linked to a tribe and cultural element of Africa, and you should ideally select one that speaks to you and your house. Then, when you have guests at home, you will have some interesting information to share.