If you think the antique African mask you bought recently is authentic, you'd better take another look.

Vendors have hit a gold mine lately with the increased interest of foreigners in African tribal art. Due to a dwindling supply of the real thing, carvers are turning out replicas of African masks, and then smoking them in cooking fires, staining them with soot and rubbing them with shoe polish in order to give a 30-hour-old "artifact" the 300-year-old look.Some sophisticated foreigners are attending seminars on the problem before traveling abroad.