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Helmet Mask

early to mid-1900s
Overall: 34.9 cm (13 3/4 in.)
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Description

This type of helmet was worn in rituals demonstrating a boy’s transition from one age group to the next, prior to his actual initiation into the secret Poro society. The pre-initiates were viewed as unknowing and anxious oxen, so the horns on such helmets may refer to those of horned cattle. The female figure alludes to women’s supernatural powers, which assure the welfare of Poro members.
Helmet Mask

Helmet Mask

early to mid-1900s

Africa, West Africa, Côte d'Ivoire, Senufo-style carver

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