200507 - LARGE, Rare & Old Tribal used Old Tribal used African Senufo Kponungo "Firespitter" mask - Ivory Coast
Old Tribal used African Senufo Kponungo "Firespitter" mask - Ivory Coast
This type of mask is used in initiation ceremonies.
Hand carved from a single piece of wood, with color pigments.
This mask is Long 90 cm and 44 cm high.
This mask has been identified as dating from the 1940s and shows signs of significant use.
These large horizontal masks, composites of several animals, were called Kponungo, or "funeral head masks". The term "Firespitter" is used by outsiders. Used by both Poro and non-Poro male societies, these helmet masks embodied an aggressive supernatural power to combat any forces that might disrupt the well-being of the community. The powerful features of antelopes, buffaloes, crocodiles, warthogs, hornbills, chameleons and humans combined to symbolize power and to recall important myths. They were used in anti-witchcraft ceremonies.