This is the Adinkra Mask of the Ashanti people of Ghana. The Ashanti tribe occupies the middle of the country and makes a big part of the Akan supertribe. The Ashanti tribe was founded in the 17th century when the first king, Osei Tutu received a Golden Stool which he believed to be sent from heaven. The Ashanti people regarded this stool as the foundation of their civilization and would never allow anyone to sit on it. Its whereabouts is always a closely guarded secret. Akofena Adinkra, the king of a rival Gyaman tribe, crafted a golden stool for himself when he heard about the Ashanti tribe's stool. The Ashanti went to war over this insult. They defeated Andinkra's army and captured and decapitated the defeated king. After this, they melted down his golden stool to make two masks of his face which are placed on each side of the Ashanti Golden Stool. Since then the Adinkra mask has become both a sign of Ashanti superiority and also a reverential acknowledgement of the importance of the Golden Stool. The gaping mouth, widened eyes and triangular nose are also signature elements of the Adinkra mask. The carved patterns on the face are purely ornamental. Click here to purchase your own Ashanti Adinkra mask.