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Blolo Bla (Spirit Wife Figure)


The Baule believe that, in the otherworld called Blolo, all human beings were married before birth. These spirit spouses called blolo bian, meaning ‘spirit husband’, and blolo bla, meaning ‘spirit...

Buti (Ancestral Figure)


Ancestral spirits, called ikwii, are important in Teke society. Ikwii, meaning “shades of the dead” serve as guardians of the living, protecting them from any sort of adversity and affliction perpetrated by witches. The...

Kponyungo (Funeral Helmet Mask)


The kponyungo mask is the generic Senufo term for helmet masks. Kponyungo translates to ‘funeral head mask’, or ‘head of Poro’.

The Senufo use helmet masks across a number of different organised...

Kiyunde (Buffalo Headdress)


Two types of masks are used in Tabwa culture. The first type takes form in an anthropomorphic facial or full-head mask. The second kind is a massive buffalo mask that’s worn on one’s head, sometimes with wooden handles...

Olojufoforo (Ancestor Mask)


The oloyiya (meaning ‘owner of combs’ also called okyiya, or epa are) mask is a ceremonial mask worn by the Yoruba people. These masks are a type of Epa mask from the Ekiti province in Nigeria, used in week-long,...

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...