About this object

History of use

Mask is named Amukku Sanni and is used in the Sanni healing ritual, which consists of dances and offerings under the direction of a healer. These rituals are designed to appease the demons causing various illnesses. This mask usually appears fifth in a series of eighteen.

Cultural context


Iconographic meaning

Mouth open represents act of vomiting. Red in corners of mouth may indicate bleeding. Eyeballs looking in different directions symbolize facial paralysis; typical of Amukku Sanni.

Physical description

Mask depicting a humanoid face with protruding ears, high cheekbones, and a large nose with flared nostrils. The mouth is open with lips drawn back over eight upper and seven lower dark green-brown teeth, and there is no chin. The mask also has raised eyebrows and protruding eyes that each have a crescent-shaped slits beneath them. Three parallel shallow wavy grooves representing brow wrinkles run horizontally above the eyebrows. Hair ? is represented by ten red protrusions with curled ends. "Advisor" is written on the reverse, near the top corner.