Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Toma Mask Metal Magic Landai Guinea African Art

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Special Price $156.00 Regular Price $290.00
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Title Toma Mask Metal Magic Landai Guinea African Art
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Guinea
People Toma/Loma
Materials Wood, metal, netting
Approximate Age 20th century
Height (in) 17
Width (in) 8
Depth (in) 4
Dimensions Height: 17 Inches
Width: 8 Inches
Depth: 4 Inches
Overall Condition Fair
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.