By Monica Demott
(formerly University of Iowa)

Côte d’Ivoire; Senufo peoples

Kpeli-yëhë or Kodöli-yëhë (face mask)


H. 27.9 cm (11")

University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, The Stanley Collection, X1986.586

Masks such as this kpeli-yëhë are carved to represent Senufo ideals of beauty and grace and to honor the deceased on the occasion of his commemorative funeral. They are not portraits of the deceased but portraits of physical ideals. These masks play female roles to the male role of the kponyungo helmet mask.