Helmet Mask

Helmet Mask

mid-late 1800s

Wood

Overall: 47 cm (18 1/2 in.)

Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 2004.84

Description

Combining animal and human traits, this example of a genre of mask called suruku, meaning "hyena," most likely belonged to the Korè, one of six power associations that the Malinke would have adopted from their Bamana neighbors. The Korè is concerned with the circumcision and initiation of male youths into adulthood. The mask probably served as one of the symbols of the different Korè classes.

See also
Collection: 
African Art
Department: 
African Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Wood

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