Senufo Wanyugo mask (Three quarters view)
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Item : Senufo Wanyugo mask, Picture : Three quarters view (approx. 21 Kbytes)


Wanyugo masks are used, during elaborate funerals, to usher the deceased soul into the realm of the spirits. This mask is worn to control dangerous spiritual forces and witchcraft which might threaten the village. Originating in the « sacred wood », sanctuary of the ancestors and spirits of the bush, this mask was worn by an initiate of the poro secret society. This very powerful association, about which the dignitaries speak a secret language, plays an essential role in the community life. The mask draws its strength from its iconographic associations : the strength of the buffalo, the wisdom of the hornbill, the aggressiveness of the wart hog, and the power of the crocodile's mouth.
This mask is exceptional both because of its vigorous execution and its small size. The patina demonstrates clearly its great age and its ritual use (see attached video).

Origin : Collection Yves Develon, Paris, 1991

Object #2965

Origin :

Ivory Coast

Type :

Masks and headdresses

Ethnic group :

Senufo

Material :

Wood, crusty and very old sacrificial patina, material pieces

Size :

W = 7 inches; H = 16.3 inches

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