African Wood Mask
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Birds pose on the forehead of this dramatic mask by Ghana's Abdul Aziz Mohamadu. Carved and painted by hand, it is embellished with applications of brass and aluminum repoussé, while bright beads adorn the cheeks. "The masks are seen in the area of Nandom in the Upper West Region of Ghana," the artisan explains. "The birds represent strange birds that come to destroy their crops, however the people make sacrifices to prevent this from happening. So I named the mask Godrya, a Hausa word which means 'Shower of Blessings.'"