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This information was automatically generated from data provided by MOA: University of British Columbia. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.


Wooden bovine headdress (or mask). The animal has two large, slightly curved horns extending up and over its head. There are two small ears on either side, next to the eyes which are carved in low relief. The snout is long, with nostrils flared at the end, and teeth bared. The teeth, eyes and nostrils show remnants of white paint.

History Of Use

Also sometimes referred to as a bush cow or buffalo mask.


Purchased by Heinzelmann's wife in 1993, in Germany, from the auction house 'Ketterer Kunst Munchen'.

Iconographic Meaning

The buffalo symbolizes power, strength and ferocity and is evocative of royal patronage. Four or five buffalo masks, often worn by royal retainers as signs of loyalty, always accompany masqueraders at death and harvest ceremonies, and during state processions. Blue trade beads in particular are also associated with royalty.

Item History

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