African art > Stick of command, chieftaincy > Bobo Command Staff

Bobo/Tussian Command Staff (N° 20624)

Among the insignia marking the authority of the chief, this stick surmounted by a figure sculpted in the round refers to the spirits of the ancestors. The body of the cane is divided into different sections engraved with motifs that reproduce the religious scarifications of the Bobos.
Patina of use, matt, abraded. The Bobo Fing are a Mandingo people, most of whom live in the east of Burkina Faso, but also in the south of Mali. Their culture is similar to that of the Bambara. They are organized in lineages led by councils of elders. In each village altars are erected under the authority of blacksmiths, priests of the Dwo cult, but the Bobo also venerate secondary spirits and those of the ancestors. In addition to objects carved from wood, they also make masks from fiber sheets that they wear during ceremonies in order to establish a relationship with the spiritual world. The most important wooden masks are the sacred masks (molo and nwenke), the masks that accompany them (nyaga), and the entertainment masks (bole, sing. bolo).  

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OriginEx-collection française
EthnyBobo
Countryburkina faso
Material(s)wood
Height93
Width4
Weight1.11 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1950
Socle includedYes

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