A ceremony mask attributed to the Kurumba people in Mali. It is carved in wood, incised and partly white limed.
Kurumba masks are used in three major events during the annual cycle; masks escort the corpse of dead male and female elders to the tomb and supervise the burial on behalf of the spirits of the ancestors of the clan.
Weeks or even months later, during the dry season, masks appear at funerals to honor the deceased and to free the spirit to travel to the world of ancestors.
Finally, just before the first rains in late May and June, masks appear at collective sacrifices in which the ancestors are honored together with the spirits of the protective antelope, that is the totem of most Kurumba clans.
Among the Kurumba people, the geometric patterns painted on masks are symbols that refer to major events in the myths of the founding of the clan, and the masks themselves represent the antelope that played a role in these stories when it saved the life of the founding elder.
We believe this masks were carved for the collecting market
H 108 cm 43'' w 20 cm 8'' d 45 cm 18''