Africa, Guinea, Toma / Loma, ca. early 20th century CE. A large and dramatic Toma (known as Loma in Liberia) mask representing the forest spirit known as Landai. Such masks have traditionally been used by men of the Poro Society in a male initiation ceremony, a rather fearsome ritual for boys as the mask is believed to symbolically swallow the boy who will be revived as a full-fledged man. This example has the characteristically flat face, round eyes, protruding browline, long, aquiline nose, and exaggerated jaw of the Landai mask, but stands apart with its full beard of hair and metal curl emerging from the forehead. A special example! Size: 5.25" W x 13.5" H (13.3 cm x 34.3 cm)
Provenance: Ex- Adeon Gallery, Nick Poolos, Chicago, IL acquired before 1970.
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