Buffalo mask

20th century, 1950–2000
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Cote d'Ivoire


Overall: 67.3 x 25.5 x 22 cm (26 1/2 x 10 1/16 x 8 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, pigment

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art



This buffalo mask once belonged to a male cult association, which fulfilled political and ritual functions on the village level and was owned by an extended family. Maskers wear such wooden headpieces with massive fiber costumes during their appearances. The Guro artists who produced this piece worked for local patrons, but also accepted commissions from French, other European, and American clients. When outside demand increased, some carvers began to cater entirely to the new markets.


1965, sold by Claude Verité of the 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