Skip to Main Content

Helmet Mask

early to mid-1900s
Overall: 34.9 cm (13 3/4 in.)
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share


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

Visually Similar Artworks

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

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.