Spirit Animal Mask
Burlap, wood, pigment, raffia ca. 20th Century
H. 46 x W. 16 in. Approximately
Kòmò and kònò (Sierra Leone) associations construct helmet masks that express the organizations’ power through their mesmerizing and shocking appearances. Kono masks are associated with abstract qualities of judgment and discernment of good and evil. This mask depicts a mythical beast, a composite creature loosely based on both an elephant and crocodile yet heavily encrusted with sacrificial materials. The creation of this work combined the efforts of a professional sculptor to produce the sculpture with the knowledge of a kònò leader to add complementary esoteric materials to its surface.