The Toma also go by the name Loma, and this Landai mask is also sometimes refered to as Dandai. or Angbai, but were used during ceremonies of the poro society.
This mask manifests the creator deity
Afwi, and is a consort to the fiercest
of the masks, Landai. This mask must
have been an awesome sight for the
young initiates when it emerged from
the forest brandishing a weapon. The
mask symbolically devours the young
boys at the beginning of their training
in the Poro initiation school, and leaves the marks of his teeth on their bodies (in the form of scarification...)
Usually surmounted by symmetrical horns, this mask we have is unusual, in that it has a female coiffure carved at the top of the mask ( such as those displayed at the Musee de l'Homme in Paris, and the Metropolitan Musem of Art in New York, where it replaces the horns).
Collected in 1963 in the Guinea/Liberia hinterland. Verbally authenticated to Scott Rodolitz by William Siegmann as well as Irwin Hersey and Dr. Leon Siroto.
Ex. Graven Images Ltd., New York and Ex. Christopher and Genevieve McConnell collection.
Stand not included.
Height: 21 ¼”
Width: 10 ⅞”
Depth: 6 ½”