Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

This mask was bought from a market just outside Dar es Salaam, on Boxing Day 2008. It was one of three, bought as a gift to myself after a month in Tanzania. I thought they’d look good on my wall; they do, particularly when the afternoon light picks them out.

I don’t remember how much I paid, but it was considerably less than the starting price. I’d like to think both parties left happy.

I flew back to London the following day, staying over at a friend’s. After handing out Christmas gifts, I then made the mistake of showing his kids the masks. Before I could explain my interior design ideas, they each grabbed one and ran through into the kitchen, wearing them on their heads. ‘Mum, Dad, look at the masks Uncle Pete bought us!’ ‘Oh, they’re lovely. Thanks Pete.’


One of the three now lives on their dining room wall. I hope the afternoon light catches it.


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