mask (dance & live theatre)

Gongoli mask painted in high-gloss black. It has characteristic pointed animal-like ears, large bulging eyes and an open mouth with red lips and white-painted wonky teeth. Un-dyed raffia is attached, threaded through a series of bored holes round the back.

The Gongoli is one of Sierra Leone's most beloved masqueraders, found across the country and not associated with any particular cultural group. It has a characteristic amusing appearance, with pointed ears, bulging eyes and wonky teeth. The gongoli is a bit of a joker, providing light entertainment by making fun of both itself and the audience, and is particularly loved by children. As such it is often commissioned to dance at funerals and other sad occasions to lift peoples spirits.

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.

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