Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

kpeli-yehe mask
  • unknown Senufo maker
  • kpeli-yehe mask, mid 1900s
  • Where object was made: Côte d'Ivoire
  • wood, staining, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 62 x 28.5 x 17 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 24 3/8 x 11 1/4 x 6 11/16 in
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. Kenneth Palmer
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2818

The human-like face has a wooden lip behind it. The lip is decorated with a zigzag groove. The face does not have cheekbones, and the forehead is sunken. Hair or scarification is indicated on the forehead, down to the prominent eyebrows, with rows of small triangles. There is a hornbill bird on the forehead, with his beak down.

The eyes are rectangular cut-outs with grid-like scarring. The eyelids and bridge of the nose are decorated with small triangles. The round lips are project outward from the face, though they don't look pursed. They show teeth. There is a stylized goatee on the bottom lip, and a beard may be indicated with rows of small triangles.