Helmet Mask: Deguele

Senufo peoples, Ivory Coast

Wood

Gift of Dr. Charles Zuill and Dr. Cheryl Jetter

9.5 x 29 x 9 in

A highly abstract helmet mask with a minimalist figure rising on top of
a columnar ringed neck is called deguele, and was always danced in male/female pairs. This is presumably the male figure of a couple, since
it lacks the breasts prominent in female deguele masks. The masks were highly secret, danced in darkest night, and only danced on the occasion of burials and commemorative rites for most senior members of the society. One theory holds that the power of the mask lies in the rings, each corresponding to a value of supernatural energy

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