Helmet Mask (tönköngba or tabakän)

early 1900s
This artwork is known to be under copyright.

Download, Print and Share

Description

It seems that this type of object--once used among various peoples in the region--could have served both as a shrine and as a dance headdress. It would only have been part of a dance when a sacrifice to the ancestors was needed, at a funeral, or during a male initiation. Despite obvious animal references, the type represents an invented composite being that some described as a creature of the sea.
Helmet Mask (tönköngba or tabakän)

Helmet Mask (tönköngba or tabakän)

early 1900s

Africa, West Africa, Guinea, possibly Landuma-style carver

Visually Similar Artworks

ArtLens App

Let the ArtLens App be your guide, featuring an interactive map, every artwork on view, and AR scanning. Keep track of your favorite artworks. Take a guided tour, or create your own. 

Download the App
background

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.