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ID number:  BIRRC-D0013
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  The Danford Collection of West African Art and Artefacts
Artist / Maker:  Unknown
Title / Object name:  Janiform zoomorphic helmet mask
Object type:  Mask
Place made:  N. Ivory Coast
Culture:  Senufo
Materials:  Wood
Measurements:  40 x 71 x 30 cm

This 'fire-spitter' mask is traditionally called a 'waniugo' or 'kponiugo' in the areas of Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso where it is produced. This particular wooden mask has never been used ritually, although traditionally these masks are designed to be so ferocious in appearance so that they drive away bad spirits. It was purchased before 1957 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and was originally lent to the Collection by John Danford.

Inscriptions / Translations:  See 1957 Ibadan catalogue no. 21.

Notes:  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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