This wood mask is an authentic one of a kind mask, hand carved and purchased in West Africa.
This is a Yaure mask of the lo class. It is considered an emblem of the yu spirits and as such very dangerous and to be handled with caution. The Yaure people, a sub-tribe of the Baule only wear this mask on occasion of a death that perturbs the social order. It is believed that the appearance of the masquerades wearing this mask will restore the social and spiritual equilibrium of the community. Women are forbidden to look upon this mask as the Yaures believe it would make them lose their fertility. By wearing this mask at dances, they hope to influence the yu spirits who can cause harm to humans but in goodwill assure their wellbeing.
The horns on the mask are of the ram, which represents bush spirit and is often a symbol employed in funerals. The superstructure of man and four birds represent the common practice in ancient African tribes of offering domestic birds as appeasement sacrifices to gods and spirits. Holding two birds by the scuffs is also a nod to the manner in which such birds are sacrificed i.e. by tearing off the heads.
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I received the shipment in perfect condition and the packing was the best I have ever received! Impressive is an understatement. I am real happy with the Toma mask it exceeded my expectations. Thank you for the great service and follow up phone calls Tim. Its a pleasure to deal with professionals!!
Thank you and take care.
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