Skip to Content

To best protect the health and safety of our community, the museum is temporarily closed. Learn more.

Helmet Mask (Kponyungo)

A work made of wood and pigment.

Image actions

  • A work made of wood and pigment.

Date:

Mid–19th/mid–20th century

Artist:

Senufo
Côte d’Ivoire
Northern Africa and the Sahel

About this artwork

Among the Senufo, poro is the generic name for age-grade associations whose functions include interceding with supernatural forces, honoring ancestors, and educating young people. The many elements of composite horizontal masks called kponyungo portray powerful spirits that escort the deceased to the other world and protect the community from supernatural danger. Expressing its potency in that realm, this mask’s animal references include a crocodile’s jaw, a hyena’s snout, and horns of both a ram and an antelope.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Culture

Senufo

Title

Helmet Mask (Kponyungo)

Origin

Côte d'Ivoire

Date

1850–1950

Medium

Wood and pigment

Dimensions

27.9 × 27.3 × 102.9 cm (11 × 10 3/4 × 40 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

African and Amerindian Art Purchase Fund

Reference Number

1963.842

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 . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share