Helmet Mask (Kponyungo)

A work made of wood and pigment.

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  • 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

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.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Artist

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 .

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