How many items does it take to make a collection? I've heard that the magic number is three, so I'll go with that one.
Before I started my oddities collection, I started buying masks from various places that I had been. It's a little slow-going because I don't get to travel more than once a year (usually) and my standards for the masks are pretty high. They have to be somewhat "authentic" -- they have to have some kind of special meaning for the place I'm visiting -- and they have to be hand-crafted (no plastic tourist reproductions).
So, speaking of Carnival masks...
men's masks are so enormous that I wouldn't have been able to get it back to the States, although I did get one tattooed on my calf! The mask is made of hand-painted metal (can you imagine wearing that while dancing for 6 hours?!) and the shop makes the costumes for people who dance in the parades.
I also have a pair of "African" masks that I received as a gift, but I'm not sure where they came from or what they represent, so I assume they are not authentic or unique and therefore don't really include them in this collection. I'm not sure where my next mask will come from, but I'm excited to build this collection for the rest of my life and hopefully pass it on to an appreciative grandchild or great-niece/nephew someday.
On a sidenote, this right here is FLIP FLOP WEATHER and I am loving it.