animal's head with squared-off snout; four tusks and six horns; diamond-shaped ears; encrusted patina-only small fragments of pigment remain

Mask, first half of 20th century

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This mask is a “firespitter.” The wearer places dried grasses and glowing chips of wood in the mouth and blows on them, usually in nighttime performances when the effect is most dramatic. Get closer to the mask and you’ll see an assortment of devouring jaws, dagger-like tusks, and multiple horns. The mask is meant to evoke the terror of sorcery while also conveying the kind of supernatural warfare it takes to protect the community from ill-intentioned people.

Details
Title
Mask
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2006.36.3
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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animal's head with squared-off snout; four tusks and six horns; diamond-shaped ears; encrusted patina-only small fragments of pigment remain