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Horse Head (Koredugaso)

A work made of wood, metal, and string.

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  • A work made of wood, metal, and string.


Early/mid– 20th century


Northern Africa and the Sahel

About this artwork

The long, pointed ears, bulging eyes, pronounced snout, and delicate and muted incised decorative elements along its face define this Bamana koredugaso (wooden horse head). This head would have been attached to a long pole at its neck and used as a puppet in Kore society performances. Ntomo and Kore societies exist throughout the Niger Valley; Ntomo was a society for young boys to learn discipline before being initiated into the more secretive Kore society as adolescents. Bamana people understand Kore as the “father of the rain and thunder,” and therefore as related to agriculture—one of the key elements of knowledge to which boys are exposed to in their initiation into Kore. This head may have been used in performances for initiation ceremonies, which take place every seven years, the more frequent dances enacted to bring about rain for farming, or perhaps both.


Currently Off View


Arts of Africa




Horse Head (Koredugaso)


Mali (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Wood, metal, and string


H.: 34.3 cm (13 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

African and Amerindian Art Purchase Fund and Mr. and Mrs. James W. Alsdorf

Reference Number


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.


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