A perfect example to show how early on objects were intentionally carved for passing tourists, the above postcard from around 1910, shows a Loango market stall with Kongo-inspired masks and figures made for sale. Already from the 2nd quarter of the 19th century the Northwestern Kongo people produced decorative art (some of it derived from ritual art) for export, alongside ritual and decorative art for their own use. By the end of the 19th century making art for outsiders had become an additional source of income for Kongo artists and during the first half of the 20th century, making art for colonials was their main occupation because traditional clients had almost disappeared. Just to say, that age alone, can never be a sufficient parameter to classify an object as authentic.
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