Senufo Warthog Mask ‘Tchalahou’

These beautiful and monumental animal helmet masks come out at a funeral of a Dozo.

Tribe: Senufo

Origin: Ivory Coast

Approx Age: Later 20th Century

Materials: wood, real teeth, hair and horns.

Dimensions cm: 49 x 28 x 34 helmet mask size

Ref. Number: 1455

£1650.00

Description:
A rare Senufo warthog mask called ‘Tchalahou’, owned by the ‘Lo hunter society’ these are worn by a ‘Dozo’ (a member of the hunter’s society). This is also accompanied by the costume used in the hunter’s ceremony. The tusks, teeth and horns are from a real warthog, also the hair mane. The costume has also been well worn, it has a design of a warthog front and back.

History

These beautiful pieces come out at the funeral of a Dozo.
The dances performed by the masks are scary, this is for driving out the evil spirits and to motivate the ancestor’s spirits to they make good welcome to the deceased. The Dozo adhere to this tradition. They come from afar to attend the funeral celebrations of one of their community member.

All Senufo are farmers, some look to become a Dozo. Dozo are well-known hunters of West Africa, especially because they are following a strict code based on honour. To become Dozo, the young apprentice have to get a long learning period with a Grand Master. Irreproachable moral conduct is required. The Dozo code is based on respect for ancestor honour and obedience to the master. Besides learning hunting, the Dozo apprentice is initiated to the religious rituals.
Dozo hunters make regular offerings to the spirits and fetishes of the bush. They spend considerable time to the preparation of amulets. A hunter Dozo never goes hunting without reciting some secret incantations.

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