Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

possible Poro society mask
  • Senufo peoples
  • possible Poro society mask, 1975
  • Where object was made: possibly Sierra Leone
  • wood, carving, staining
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 45 x 33 x 18 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 17 11/16 x 13 x 7 1/16 in
  • Gift of Professor Beverly Mack
  • Not on display
  • C2011.099
Description

A mask, identified as a possible Poro society mask, that is carved from wood and stained a dark brown. On the top of the head there is a carving of a bird that is bent down with its beak on the mask's forehead. The forehead is large and prominent and the eyes and cheeks are set far back into the face. The bridge of the nose is long and thin and the nostrils are exaggerated and extend forward. The mouth is also prominently forward and is very wide with carved lines to indicate teeth. At the back of the mask there are rectangular shaped projections at the forehead and the cheeks. There are flared cylindrical shapes at the bottom of the chin and at the back of the chin. The edges of the projections and the eyes and forehead are decorated with bands of small carved squares.