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Kuma Mask

This mask represents the hornbill bird, or kuma, which, according to Bobo mythology, was one of the first beings made by the creator. Men wearing such masks perform at the initiation rites of men's societies, at the funerals of important male elders, and at annual harvest ceremonies. The common characteristics of all Bobo masks are a long, trapezoidal face and a long, straight nose.

Catalogue Description:
Polychrome wooden mask. The pigments used are white, ochre, red-brown and black. They are applied to the face of the mask in a triangular pattern. The nose is a long narrow ridge. The mouth is square shaped and painted red-brown. The eye holes are void squares. Ears are horse-shoe shaped. Extending horizontally out from the center of the forehead is a long, sweeping beak resembling that of a toucan bird. Starting at the back of the head and curving horizontally over the dome-shaped head is a sweeping curved horn. The proper right side of the mask has been painted with red-brown pigments; the proper left side has only traces of reddish-brown pigment because of erosion. There are drill holes on sides and bottom of mask for attachment.


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