H: 24 inches, W: 10 inches, D: 10 inches
Materials: wood, metal, hair, shells, feathers, cloth, bells,straw, glass, leather
The Toma, number about 200,000 people occupy the eastern part of Guinea, and northwest of Liberia. The Pero Association, which is responsible for the young boys, and is led by the “Landai” the major forest spirit, initiates the boys into adulthood. The King who wears the headdress represents the spirit; who symbolically devours the boys at the end of their initiation period in order to give them rebirth as men.
The materials used to create this early 20th century masterpiece are emblems of power, wisdom, prestige and authority.