Nigerian Face Mask Brocade #2, 1977

Sewn velvet, feathers and beads

29 x 10 x 5 in.

The African Series Masks were inspired by Faith Ringgold’s first trip to Africa in 1976. In Faith’s memoirs, We Flew Over the Bridge, she writes: “I came back from Africa with ideas for a new mask face, more primitive than any I had ever done before. Primitive is a word I use in a positive way to explain the completeness of a concept in art. I like to layer and pattern and embellish my art in the manner of tribal art, and then, like a blues singer, I like to repeat and repeat it again.” These masks are intricate and can be both worn or hung beautifully on the wall.