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.
- Helmet Mask (Kono Kun)
- Wood, horn, quills, and sacrificial material
- 22.9 x 103.5 x 28.6 cm (9 x 40 3/4 x 11 1/4 in.)
- 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