Country: Ivory coast Material: wood Height: 40 cm Only a few masks resemble this specimen. Two of them were part of the wellknown collection of Pierre Guerré. The most similar mask is owned by the Rietberg Museum. Von der Heydt probably bought it in 1932 from Carré in Paris. The masks were probuced early 20th century.
Country: Ivory coast Material: wood Height: 30 cm Anyi figures are very rare. The haircut, the ringed neck and the scarifications on the cheeks make it Anyi. It is 19th - early 20th century. The wood grain gives a special effect. Little is known about the Anyi culture. These statues would belong to priests , practising soothsaying and healing. The figure seems to be washed frequently. In 1914 a Liberian profet arrived and his actvities caused the demise of their traditional culture. Objects were destoyed on a large scale.
Country: D.R. Congo Material: wood Height: 81 cm Staff with a figure and below a head, an animal (chameleon?) and a snake. A similar figure, made by the same artist, in 'Afrikanische Kunst aus der Sammlung Barbier-Mueller' (African Art from the Barbier-Mueller collection). It has been commented on by Biebuyck, who doesn't know it was part of a staff. He attributes it to the Bwami cult and used by an official of the highist importance. This is a socalled titletaking staff. This was handed when grantin the former owner a high title. A third figure without staff is known in Belgium. Same stry: someone cutted it off. Both figures are described in the Yale-van Rijn archive, correctly mentioning these were stafftops.
Country: Burkina Faso or Ghana or Ivory coast Material: wood Dimensions: 19,5 x 10,5 cm According the Lobi cultue, animals like birds, snakes, antilopes, elefants and chameleons can be thila. Thila are helping spirits ment to assist Lobi people in the event of difficulties. Such an animal is manufactured and kept in an altar hut in memory of the owner's confrontation with such an animal.
Anti Atlas spores
Country: Morocco Material: Damascus steel Height: 11 cm Two metallurgists at Stanford University in 1981, seeking to produce a ''superplastic'' metal, appear to have stumbled on the secret of Damascus steel, the legendary material used by numerous warriors of the past, including the Crusaders. Its formula had been lost for generations. The warriors used it because swords of this metal could split a feather in midair and cleave an iron helmet. Jewish artisans, working in the Arabic Al-Andalus state on the Iberian pensylvenia, used this metal to produce artful objects. Christians expelled the inhabitants of Al-Andalus from the peninsula and the Jewish craftsmen continued their work in Morocco.
Chokwe mask mukishi wa ngulu
Country: Angola, region Saurino Material: wood, textile, fiber Height: 34 cm The Chokwe have a range of zoomorphic masks such as the khanga (guinea fowl), the hundu (ape) and this mukishi wa ngulu, or aardvark mask. Durung appearances, the performer moves on all fours, mimicking the action of the aardvark's snout rooting in the ground. Aardvarks are symbolically significant for their digging for ants and termites takes them underground where ancestors dwell.