Initiation Society Hyena Mask (Suruku)



The mask of the suruku, or hyena, was worn by a masker of the Korè, a male initiation association. In some Bamana communities it may have served to chase curious non-initiates away from the association’s sacred grove during secret ceremonies. Masks in the form of ‘lazy’ or ‘wily’ animals like the hyena were also used in performances that criticized hypocritical individuals and the authority of immoral elders.