African Tifwebe masks

When I again entered the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, I immediately asked the security guards where the African collection was located. I passed through the Chinese and Japanese galleries but nothing drew my attention more than the African mystique. As I entered the room a distinct smell came across my noise, one that suggested undiscovered grounds. This is an art criticism paper, in which I will describe, interpret, and evaluate the Female Mask, c. Late 19th Century.
The Female Mask is a combination of wood, fiber, hide, pigment, and shell. The Female Mask rests in a case and its height is about 55-inches, width about 32-inches, and depth about 24-inches. The mask has four distinct components that embody the headdress. The first component is the similar style of the hooded sweatshirt shaped, woven under-dress. This material seems to be ruggedly sewn from a fibrous material that is a light maroon color, with distinct hints of light and darker concentrations of a brown tone throughout the under-dressing. Each sleeve of the dressing has three-finger gloves perfectly sewn into the dressings’ sleeves. The texture of the under-dressing is that of a chain-mail stitch pattern with all seams cleverly hidden, expressing the attention to detail. The dressing covers the entire upper body of the female who wears this mask. I also noticed the waistline of the dressing is about 12-inches short of the tips of the three-fingered gloves.
The next component of the Kifwebe mask is the thick, beard-like fibrous dressing located about the chest region. The fibrous dressing connects directly to the chin, and is sewn directly below the region of the chin area. The material resembles that of hay from a bail, but has thicker, tubular characteristics. The color of this material has deteriorated, but the fibrous material appears dark brown, and is tangled like many vines stacked on top of each other. The beard’s overall shape resembles the po…

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