Showcasing the art and ritual of the African and African-diaspora religions

Senufo Fire-Eater Mask

Catalog Number: J011


7.75" x 6.25" x 31.00"

196.85 mm x 158.75 mm x 787.40 mm

Materials: Paper
Usage: N/A
Detailed Description of Significance:

The poniugo or kponiugo mask is found among the Senufo, a people of Burkina Faso, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana. The mask has the ability to spit fire, and its frightening shape brings together the most fearsome aspects of several animals: the fearsome jaws of a hyena or crocodile, the tusks of a warthog, the menacing horns of an antelope, and the head of a snake, chameleon, or bird. The large, hollow muzzle allows the storage of substances that allow the dancer to simulate fire breathing. Similar masks are known among the Mande and other peoples who live near the Senufo.