Helmet Mask

Helmet Mask

early to mid-1900s


Overall: 122 cm (48 1/16 in.)

Gift of Katherine C. White 1972.336



The iconography of this helmet mask is comprised of sculpted renderings of different animal attributes including a ram's horns, a warthog's tusks, a crocodile's mouth, and a hyena's snout. Carved between the long antelope horns is a miniature chameleon that holds an abstract wing-shaped motif called mangele. Intended to impress and terrify, the sculpture's fearsome aesthetic alludes to the mask's power as an anti-sorcery device.

See also
African Art
African Art
Type of artwork: 

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