"I worked with the chief's head carver for about 15 years, during which time I learned the various styles and techniques of Ashanti and Akwamu traditional methods of wood carving."
"Greetings from Ghana, West Africa, where we are thinking of you and thanking you for such a successful work year. From myself, my family, and my seven carving assistants, we wish you the best.
"My name is Salihu Ibrahim, and I was born in the eastern region of Ghana in 1964. My father, Ibrahim, died when I was a child and I'm certain his death actually changed and shaped the course of my life. With the death of my father, I was sent to live with one of my father's closest friends, Opanin Osei, a renowned traditional carver to the then Akwamu chief and the people of Akwamu. At the age of ten, I was fully under the carving tutelage and control of Opanin Osei, who usually carved the items and then passed them on to me for the final polishing and beautification. I worked with the chief's head carver for about 15 years, during which time I learned the various styles and techniques of Ashanti and Akwamu traditional methods of wood carving.
"I then traveled to the city and stayed with a relative. I greatly owe much of my initial success there to this relation of mine. This is because being new in a big city exposes you to harsh treatments from human scavengers, criminal gangs and business rivals who would want to cash in on your innocence and dupe you out of your possessions.
"Before my decision to come to the city, I had carved about 50 pieces made purposely to help me raise sufficient capital to open a workshop. With the help of my friend, these products sold in no time, to my surprise! This gave me the chance to open my first woodworking shop. I never realized how valuable his help was, until I decided to stay on my own to sell my own products. Being a newcomer in the business, many customers came to buy my products but on several occasions took these goods away on credit; the majority of these goods were never recovered. I learned my first lesson - never sell on credit!
"These experiences helped me develop physically and intellectually, so I quickly learned to read through the trickery of any fraudster. My work began to flourish and achieve recognition. My clientele increased and some of my products have made their way to the USA.
"I have exhibited my work at local art fairs as well as in Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Nigeria and Ivory Coast. Now, I have seven apprentice carvers with me learning the art of carving and preparing the carved items to resemble antique pieces."
I received my order today and was so surprized by the quality of the masks I had ordered. The 'Tigari Psychic' mask that Salihu Ibrahim created for me, in particular, is wonderful and it is already on my living room wall! The picture on the site does not do the crafstmanship justice! I love it! Thanks Salihu! Sincerely
- Jeff H, Orlando, Fl usa
The Bird Protector mask I have received today is fantastic. It just exudes mystery and dignity. I love the noble expression of the face and the two three-dimensional birds on top of the head; and of course, it's a great name, too. In fact, I am so enchanted with the mask I have already ordered another one - Spirit Power. The detailing of the mask is fine, the dark polished finish is very elegant. A wonderful piece of art. Thank you!
- Katerina P, Brooklyn, NY, USA
I have just received my "Bountiful Harvest" mask. I really love it - the face is unique and hauntingly beautiful - Thank you!!!!
- Judith S, USA
Their fantastic! As soon as I opened the box and saw the quality, I jumped online and ordered two more. He is an amazing artist with a true flare for the authentic!
- Kris W, Las Vegas, NV
I just received the exquisite River Goddess mask created by Salihu Ibrahim. She is so peaceful and serene and the artist paid so much attention to detail. I hung the mask in my hallway so that she is the first thing one sees when coming into my home. What a beautiful piece of art!
- Karen C, Harrisburg, PA usa
Thanks for the great masks. The craftmanship and beauty far exceed my expectations. The web cannot unfortunately do justice to the fine detail and artistry. Thanks again. Paul Williams (UK)
- Paul W
Thank you for my mask, "Spirit Blessings." The craftsmanship and exspressivness of this piece are beautiful. A benevolent and unique addition to my home. Thank you!
- Shanti C, NY/USA
As I was placing my "Ancestor's Spirit" mask on my south wall, it was as though I could see eyes behind the mask...so masterfully carved in honor and dignity, I actually see the spirits there behind the wood and clay. Without a doubt I believe the Artist is a rare and precious jewel. My home is honored by his work and my heart content in the presence of the spirits who enter here. Very intense and powerful work. Many thanks.
- Rochelle S, Los Angeles
I bought one of your future daughters fertility doll to become pregnant and I pray I do, the quality is great the doll was so beutifull, I couldnt stop looking at it, you have a great talent and I believe you have supernatural talents to. Thank you so much, and GOD BLESS. Your friend for life Leeann Mattingly - Oh and I plan on nameing my baby Charity Ann Louise Mattingly. Charity means there needs to be more charity in this world and Ann is a angel in the bible, also Louise is my mothers middle name. I believe the name you give your child is very important it is something they will carry with them forever.
- Leeann M, Longview,TX USA
Salihu Ibrahim's carvings are truly sublime and testament to his amazing skills as an artisan. His work surpassed my expectations and I cannot recommend him highly enough. Thank you.
- Camillo F, Scotland
AM ABSOLUTELY OVER THE MOON TO RECEIVE THIS MASK. WHAT A DIVINELY BEAUTIFUL AND UNIQUE PIECE OF WORK. I WAS NOT REALLY A GREAT ADMIRER OF MASKS UNTIL I SAW YOUR WORK. I REALLY LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING MORE OF YOUR INSPIRATION IN THE FUTURE. THANK YOU.
I just received two of Salihu Ibrahim's carvings, the butterfly mask and the Earth goddess, and couldn't be more pleased! The workmanship is exquisite and the attention to detail is amazing! In addition, both were securely and carefully packaged - they arrived in perfect condition. Thank you, Mr. Ibrahim, for enriching my life with your beautiful art work!
OH jMY just received my wood bowl centerpiece and its craftsmanship is Artist envy, the beauty, style, soul and gifted hands of Salihu Ibrihim and his Carvers really pleased me, and enjoys this being a conversation piece with family members, reminding us of our departed Ancestors.
- Patricia, Brooklyn, NY
Dear Salihu Ibrahim, I am so very pleased with the beautiful mask you created! Your artistry and skill are most evident, and I particularly appreciate your wonderful sense of design. As I was looking through the pictures on the Novica site, I found that almost every mask I stopped to look at more closely was something that you had created. Thank you! Vicki Paulet
I received the mask I ordered today. It took only 4 days to arrive to Canada! I am so happy with it. I love to just keep looking at it, I'm not sure why, but from the moment I saw it in the picture, this has been the effect it's had on me. :-) There is something very visually satisfying in its forms. I am even more happy that I was finally able to actually purchase something from an artist who I've loaned to. This very concrete way I can help support an artist or artisan is really important to me, and unfortunately, this is not possible on some other micro-loan sites. At any rate, I am very, very happy with my mask, my 'protector'!
- Jacqueline, Ontario, Canada