The Salampasu

The Salampasu (also Salanpaso) are a loosely governed confederation of villages headed by tribal chiefs. Surrounded on all sides by hostile neighbors, the Salampasu have had to develop a strong warrior ethic, much of which is expressed in their mask-making. Some Salampasu war masks are considered so frightful that merely saying their names may kill by-standers! This mask in my collection is quite scary to behold.

Salampasu society is highly stratified, with initiation ceremonies playing vital roles as each individual progresses from level to level. This mask would be worn as part of the one such ceremony, the circumcision.

The Salampasu tribe gave shelter and food to Dr. Livingston, the great British explorer, during a lengthly time when he was stranded without any trade items and abandoned by his caravan.  He was thought to me missing and presumed dead until rescued by Mr. Stanley, a reporter-adventurer working for the New York Herald (now the International Herald-Tribune). 

Salampasu Edged Weapon:  Sword

A Salampasu mask in my collection.