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Geh-Naw (Initiation Headdress)


The geh-naw is an initiation headdress worn by the Chu-den-zo initiation society of the Bassa people in Liberia. The Bassa are a part of Poro society, brought into it by the neighbouring Dei and Kpelle people.

As a...

Duein Fubara (Ancestor Memorial Screen)


The Kalabari Ijo began creating ancestral screens during the nineteenth century as a way to honour, memorialise and communicate with deceased leaders of ‘war canoe houses’. Called duein fubara (sometimes written as...

Makunda (Initiation Mask)


Makunda (also called n-khanda, m-khanda, longwa or nzo longo) is the initiation society used to transition male children into manhood. Yaka boys considered ready for initiation (called tundansi) are taken to a bush camp...

Kibango (Staff of Office)


There are at least three different types of staffs, varying in degrees of importance, carried by Luba chiefs and high-ranking officials.

Dilanga is the simplest staff. It is tall and sticklike, often accompanied by a bell...

Kayamba ('The Cunning Mask')


The social and spiritual lives of the Lega people, are governed by a central initiation society known as Bwami; Bwami is responsible for teaching morality through community performances, dances and objects. The Bwami...

Lupona (Royal Stool)


Lupona caryatid stools, thrones, or seats of leadership, (also called kipona or kihona in some sources) are considered the most important of all Luba royal insignia of office. Used solely by Luba rulers, lupona stools are a...