|Title||Toma Mask Landai Guinea African Art|
|Type of Object||Mask|
|Country of Origin||Guinea|
|Materials||Wood, pigment, clay|
|Approximate Age||Early 20th century|
|Overall Condition||Fair. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners. Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use. We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings. Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.|
|Damage/Repair||Cracks and bug damage|
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.