There was a large range of stylistic differences in these Senufo helmet shaped "firespitter" masks.
Of large proportions and abstract zoomorphic form, the faceted snout baring jagged teeth carved in two rows, and framed by pointed, backswept ears; aged blackened surface with areas
of red pigment.
Used by the Senufo on behalf of the Poro initiation society to maintain social order, or with more limited associations as part
of anti-witchcraft practices.
Used mostly at funerals. Masked performers dance around the cadaver at funerals of important male and female elders of the
powerful Poro society, an association found among the Senufo people in Côte d’Ivoire. “They beat drums that have been placed on the torso of the
deceased in order to ward off evil and help the soul reach the spirit world”.
17" height x 12" width x 20" depth/length