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Toma Bakrogui plank mask (N° 18527)

Coll. French African art.
Rectangular plan depicts a face topped with horns, and whose nose and headband form the only reliefs. This exceptional mask associated with the ancestors, the bakrogui, has only reduced openings for vision but has a wide open mouth of teeth. At the top an element composed of wood, metal, strings and cauris, acting as a talisman, is coated with a crusty gangue. Only the members of the Poro were allowed to contemplate the mask bakrogui
Emprete of xylophas, smooth dark patina. Height on a base: 158 cm.
The Toma of Guinea, known as Loma in Liberia, live in the forest at high altitudes. They are renowned for their landai masks designed to animate the initiation rites of the association poro which structures their society, and which represent the spirits of the bush. As soon as the landai mask appeared, the initiates went to the forest to stay for a month during which they would be taught. At the end of this journey, they will be subjected to a 'ritual devouring' followed by a 'symbolic renaissance'. (Kerchache) The female society bundu, for its part, uses rare statuettes of the same name with an apotropaic and divinatory purpose.  

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OriginColl. française Prodhomme
EthnyToma
CountryLibéria
Material(s)wood, plant fibre, metal, cauris
Height125
Width39
Weight5.65 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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