Toma Landai Initiation Mask from Guinea Africa

$150.00

The Toma live in the rain forest, primarily in the northern mountainous, sparsely populated regions of Guinea and Liberia. They are closely related to the Mende people and are also known as Loma. They are mainly an agricultural people and are governed by secret societies.

The Poro society articulates the people socially, politically and religiously. It is their responsibility to initiate the young boys of the tribe into adulthood. The landai masks are the main element of the young boys' initiation which takes place in the depth of the rain forest. The masks are to be worn by the initiators. Their rough features are part of the peculiar style, as if the carving had been done by the forest spirits. The masks symbolized the legendary ancestors and speak a secret language. They symbolically devour the boys at the end of their initiation period in order to give them rebirth as men.

This Landai mask is 10 inches long, 4.5 inches wide, and 2.25 inches deep.


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