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ID number:  BIRRC-D0250
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Danford Collection of West African Art and Artefacts
Title / Object name:  Mask
Object type:  Mask
Materials:  Wood
Measurements:  24 x 6 cm
BIRRC-D0250.jpg

This wooden mask has been carved to form an Elongated human-face with an elaborate horned head-dress. There are several beads and amulets attached to the mask. Although this mask has been made for sale to tourists, it has been carved in the Senufo style. The Senufo people believe strongly in ritual tradition and masquerade and as such all Senufo men are part of a 'poro' society, the main purpose of which is to uphold these traditions for younger generations. This particular mask was collected in Sierra Leone in 1966 by John Danford.

John Danford spent the majority of his professional life working for the British Council in West Africa. He spent 11 years as the representative in Ibadan, Nigeria, his arts education providing him with the insight to encourage and develop the arts in Nigeria. For his achievements in this area he was awarded an OBE in 1953. He occupied three further posts in Trinidad, Manchester and Sierra Leone before illness forced him into retirement. In 1964 a large portion of his West African arts collection was loaned to the University of Birmingham before being purchased in 1975, forming the nucleus of the Danford Collection of West African Art and Artefacts.

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