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Nicholas A Trifiletti Ideas in the Visual Arts I9 100 MWF The Songye Masquerade INTRODUCTION 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 DESCRIPTION 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
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