Unique and Rare Djimini Mask. Wood and Leather. Côte d’Ivoire
The Djimini (aka Dyimini) people of Cote d’lvoire are part of the larger Senufo group. Heavily into story telling about their history and traditions, this group believes in animism as their main religious practice. Everything, everything has a spirit inside it . . the earth, moon, lakes, rivers, animals, plants.
Because they are mainly farmers, they believe the ground holds spiritual blessings and many villages have priests who make sacrifices to the earth and to any living thing that might support or protect their crops.
This finely detailed mask (without eye slits) has two African grey hornbill birds protruding from the main section. The hornbill has specific meaning to the Djimini as a mythical creature and attendant on the souls of the dead and – at the same time – a symbol of fertility. Dancers who carry these masks perform in pairs and in perfect unison.
This mask was used during funerals of distinguished holy men of the tribe.
It was acquired from a village north of Bondaukou, near the western Ghana border, in the 1960s and has been in the hands of a collector in Iowa since that time.
Very rare and in phenomenal condition. Stand not included.