African, Liberia, Mano peoples
20th century
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Liberia


Overall: 29 x 16 x 13 cm (11 7/16 x 6 5/16 x 5 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, nails, fur, earth or pigment encrustation

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art



This mask may have been used during Poro initiation ceremonies. Practiced among many groups throughout the West African forest region, the Poro initiation society was responsible for transforming male children into men. It is said that the the Poro spirit “eats” young boys and then spits them back out as men.


Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart