The African animal masks of Burkina Faso.
This imposing helmet mask embodies a large West African antelope, the antelope, with high ringed horns curved backwards. Grainy brown and black patina.
Mandinka people most of whom live in eastern Burkina Faso, but also in southern Mali, the culture of the Bobo Fing is similar to that of the Bambara. They are organized into lineages headed by councils of elders. In each village altars are erected under the authority of the blacksmiths, priests of the cult of Dwo, but the Bobo also venerate secondary spirits and those of the ancestors. In addition to objects carved from wood, they also make masks out of fiber sheets which they will wear during ceremonies in order to establish a relationship with the spiritual world. The most important of the wooden masks are the sacred altar-masks (molo and nwenke), the accompanying masks (nyanga) and those for entertainment (Bole, sing. bolo). Before the rainy season, in order to restore the balance of nature, the masked dancers embodying the spirits protecting the village manifest themselves during purification ceremonies. Leaf masks embodying Dwo then occur in the company of zoomorphic masks, the nyanga, evoking growth and fertility.
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