About this artwork
Senufo age-grade associations, such as Poro, serve many important functions: interacting with supernatural forces, honoring ancestors, educating young people, and regulating community politics. At funerals male Poro members—wearing kponyungo masks and baggy, mud-dyed costumes—portray powerful spirits escorting the deceased to the other world, thus protecting the community from supernatural danger. The prominent features of this mask include the eyes, large mouth, and ferocious teeth of a crocodile; the snout of a hyena; the twisted horns of a ram; and the slender, arcing horns of an antelope.
- Helmet Mask (Kponyungo)
- Côte d'Ivoire
- Wood and pigment
- 27.9 × 27.3 × 102.9 cm (11 × 10 3/4 × 40 1/2 in.)
- African and Amerindian Art Purchase Fund