face masks (mask)

Tiriki mask (engoro) associated with initiation and circumscision, made from woven and plaited sisal and a square section of hide, probably goat. A number of chords hang down from the mask to cover the body of the initiate.

Tiriki circumcision mask (engoro), associated with initiation rites for young men. The mask is made for and worn by a particular individual in order to hide their identity, representing existence in a liminal state during the transition from childhood to adulthood. During initiation young men are removed from the community and reside with male elders who teach them knowledge pertaining to adulthood. After initiation such masks are left to decay in the forest.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

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