About this artwork
This face mask was made by a specialized carver for the powerful all-male Poro association, which governs life and death in Senufo communities. Danced at initiations and funerals, it represents ideal womanhood even though only a man can wear it. The mask’s glossy, black surface mimics the oiled, smooth, firm skin that is the hallmark of a pica, a beautiful young woman who is ready for marriage. Its femininity also emerges in the choreography, which includes exaggerated hip movements.
- Face Mask (Kpeliye'e)
- Côte d'Ivoire (Object made in)
- Wood and pigment
- 34.3 × 17.8 × 9.5 cm (13 1/2 × 7 × 3 3/4 in.)
- Gift of Anita Glaze