Requires Photography


African, Cote d'Ivoire, Kono peoples
20th century
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Cote d'Ivoire


Overall: 83 x 25 x 19 cm (32 11/16 x 9 13/16 x 7 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

wood, encrustation, metal

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art



This mask, belonging to the Kono secret society, represents a mythical beast that possesses hyena, elephant, and antelope qualities. The exact function of the Kono secret society is difficult to discern nut members are responsible for ensuring fertility (both female and agricultural), punishing wrong-doers, and resolving conflicts. Mask wearers, who dance in front of male initiates, is said to be possessed by the mythical beast whose mask the dancers wears.


1958, sold by Galerie Carrefour, Paris, to 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