About this artwork
The style and incised surface designs of the standing female figure at the center of this helmet suggest that it was made by a Bamana artist. Echoing those of buffalo, the framing horns fit within a visual theme that is widespread in West Africa, referencing ideas of male power, authority, and prestige. Among the Bamana and other Mande-language speakers, such helmets were called sigi kun (buffalo head) and used by hunters’ associations.
- Helmet (Sigi Kun)
- Wood and pigment
- H. 70 cm (29 9/16 in.)
- African and Amerindian Curator's Discretionary Fund; through prior restricted gift of the Alsdorf Fund; through prior gift of Mrs. Ernest B. Zeisler; through prior restricted gift of the American Hospital Supply Corp.; through prior gift of the Britt Family Collection, Gwendolyn Miller and Herbert Baker; through prior restricted gift of the Alsdorf Foundation; African and Amerindian Art Purchase Fund; through prior gift of Deborah Stokes and Jeffrey Hammer in honor of Milton Gross; through prior gift of Muriel Kallis Newman; through prior bequest of Florene May Schoenborn