Bambara, Mali. Wood. Pigments,
This mask with its exaggerated features - long nose, wide mouth, round eyes, prominent hairstyle and super structure and elongated face, reminds one of oral stories told of initiates (from boyhood to manhood) who after successfully completing their learning and subsequent rites, would alight from the forest (where they had been segregated for seven to eight months to facilitate their studies) with swagger, ready to start their own families, to be accepted as full fledged members of society (by being allowed to gain entrance to delineated ones) and seem poised take on the world!
It has a strong Guro influence and was used for initiation ceremonies.