Helmet Mask (Kono Kun)

A work made of wood, horn, quills, and sacrificial material.

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  • A work made of wood, horn, quills, and sacrificial material.

Date:

Early/mid–20th century

Artist:

Bamana
Mali
Northern Africa and the Sahel

About this artwork

Led by griots (musicians/storytellers) with an ability to mediate spiritual energy, the name Kono designates one of several Bamana power associations—organizations restricted by age and profession. This type of helmet mask, locally known as Kono kun (Kono head), is danced to control antisocial behavior. Stored in a shrine when not performed, the mask’s carved features and real animal attachments such as horns and quills create a composite entity whose powers derive from the natural world it references.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Artist

Bamana

Title

Helmet Mask (Kono Kun)

Origin

Mali

Date

1900–1975

Medium

Wood, horn, quills, and sacrificial material

Dimensions

22.9 x 103.5 x 28.6 cm (9 x 40 3/4 x 11 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior gifts of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Baker, Mr. and Mrs. Dave Chapman, Dr. H. Van de Waal; through prior acquisitions of the Robert A. Waller Fund

Reference Number

1997.62

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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