PSU Home Museum Home Introduction Exhibitions at the Burke Gallery African Mirror, Home Page
Browse by Region:
Mali
  Dogon, Bamana,
  Malinke
Liberia
  Dan, Loma/Toma,
Ivory Coast
  Baule, Yaure, Attie,
  Senufo, We
Burkina Faso
  Lobi
Ghana
  Fanti, Ashanti
Nigeria
  Igbira, Montol,
  Mumuye, Ibibio,
  Jompre, Yoruba,
  Igbo, Anyang
Gabon
  Kwele
Democratic Republic of Congo
  Songye, Teke,
  Kongo, Yombe
Angola
  Chokwe
Madagascar
  Sakalava
Tanzania
  Makonde

Browse Sequentially:
  Next Slide
  Previous Slide
Liberia

            Details

31. Toma Landai mask, Liberia,
wood, pigments, metal, magic pouch, Kissi pennies, 58 1/8" (147.8 cm) Continue

31. Toma Landai mask, Liberia,
          wood, pigments, metal, magic pouch, Kissi pennies, 58 1/8" (147.8 cm)

  The Toma (or Loma) are a Mande speaking people living in northern Liberia. Their masks all function as part of the major men’s association known as Poro, which is still active throughout the region and in many different ethnic groups. Poro regulated many aspects of life from initiation, marriage, trade and social behavior to land use, legal arbitration and work groups (though much of Poro’s other activities are closely guarded secrets). This large Toma mask represents the most important forest spirit, Landai, a male diety that helped to manifest the powers of the Poro society. Among its many responsibilities the mask ceremonially ate young boys during the Poro initiation ceremonies, allowing them to then be reborn as men. The mask was adorned with long feathers at the top, and was worn flat on the dancer’s back. On this particular mask a medicine bundle has been attached to the top, containing magic substances and several iron “pennies” or currencies from the neighboring Kissi people.

Anonymous Collection

Back to Region
Top of Page


Home | Galleries | Exhibitions | Rockwell Kent | Map | Office


Contact the Museum

Plattsburgh State Home Page



Copyright © 2003, The Plattsburgh State Art Museum.
All rights reserved.

Copyright Statement

Web site comments:Museum Preparator's Office