Toma Poro Initiation Ritual Mask from Guinea Africa


The Toma, who inhabit the forest areas of Eastern Guinea, live by the sacred male fellowship of the 'Poro' as do many other peoples along the gulf of Guinea. This important society plays a decisive role in all aspects of their social, political and religious daily lives.

Wooden masks are made with a strict formal design and play a role in social control. These masks are used in rituals of the Poro society to initiate young males into adulthood. They represent legendary ancestors that speak a secret language. At the end of their initiation, they would symbolically devour the youths so they can be reborn as men. This unique mask is 11 inches tall, 5 inches wide and 3 inches deep.

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