|Title||Toma Mask Metal Magic Landai Guinea African Art|
|Type of Object||Mask|
|Country of Origin||Guinea|
|Materials||Wood, metal, netting|
|Approximate Age||20th century|
|Dimensions||Height: 17 Inches
Width: 8 Inches
Depth: 4 Inches
|Damage/Repair||Cracks, chips and a well worn patina. Repaired ear|
Additional Information: A Toma Landai mask with horns protruding from the top. The visage has no mouths. These masks were used during inittiation ceremonies for young boys. Below rthe horns is unknown material which was believed to hold magic.
Among the Loma people of Liberia who are identified as the Toma in Guinea, the male secret society known as Poro is the primary association for the initiation of all males and the means whereby social control is exercised. Powerful leaders of this secret society have badges of office and certain symbols reserved to them to influence initiates. Large masks were worn horizontally on the head and held by the projecting horns. They appeared during initiations of youths into manhood. Sometimes, they were held in the male secret Poro Society precinct in the ‘bush’ where they were kept hidden from the uninitiated.
The Toma are a small group (200,000 people) found in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. Most of their ceremonies revolve around the Poro secret society.