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Face Mask

Senufo peoples, Ivory Coast

Bronze

Anonymous gift

6.75 x 12.5 x 3 in

Delicate face masks with buffalo symbolism are made by blacksmith groups who organise their own initiations into the Poro Association. This mask evokes the union of the female deity, “Ancient Mother,” with the buffalo; the words for “mother” and “buffalo” are nearly identical in Senufo language. The masks appear on the occasion of funerals, initiations and agricultural celebrations.

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