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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Senufo Masks : Senufo Kponiugo Firespitter Helmet Mask
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Senufo Kponiugo Firespitter Helmet Mask - PF.1254
Origin: Northern Ivory Coast, Mali
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 12.5" (31.8cm) high x 31" (78.7cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Wood

Location: United States
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Senufo masks called kponiugo or firespitters represent a mythical being who protects the community from sorcerers and soul stealers. He is depicted with the jaws of a hyena, the tusks of a wart hog, the horns of an antelope, and the ears of a gazelle. Appropriately the mask is intended to recall the chaos before the world was set in order. Between the horns are a hornbill and snake, two of the primordial animals. These masks appear in groups after dark and seem to spit fire, for tinder is held in a cleft stick in front of the mouth, causing sparks to spew forth from the mask. - (PF.1254)


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