Face Mask, Poro Society

Guere peoples

Republic of Liberia

Face Mask, Poro Society, 20th century

  • On View

Wood with fragments of leather, cloth and hair

Dimensions: 11 × 6 3/4 in. (27.9 × 17.1 cm)

Gift of Justice and Mrs. G. Mennen Williams, 1973.17

Members of the Poro society, a Guere men’s secret organization, and elders of the community wear this mask in rituals intended to drive away evil bush spirits from the community. The Guere peoples believe evil spirits as very ugly creatures, therefore masks are made to look aggressive and fierce in order to surpass their ugliness and intimidate them. When used, the surface of the mask is covered by blood.

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