African art > African mask > Bwa Mask
Bwa Mossi Sun Mask (N° 19323)
Flat and circular, imposing by its dimensions, this African mask is engraved with diamond motifs arranged in successive circular friezes. It is painted in a matte polychrome, burgundy red, white and dark brown kaolin. The mouth is hollowed out to allow the vision of the dancer. It would symbolize a totem bird from different clans Mossi.
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Slight cracks. Matte patina.
The sculptures of African art of the Bobo, Bwa, Kurumba and Mossi, living in Burkina Faso, frequently use and combine stylized elements borrowed from men, animals and insects. It is the spirits of nature that are supposed to determine the well-being and prosperity of an individual, and adversity will be seen as the result of neglect of collective rites. It is thus during various celebrations that the mask will personify a spirit of nature or that of an ancestor in order to influence the daily life of the members of the ethnic group. They appear to honor the deceased during funeral rites, and to escort souls to the kingdom of the dead. They also occur during the agricultural festivals in order to ensure the progression of the seasons, in the same way at the time of the initiatory rites they will initiate the young people with the responsibilities of the adult life.
The masks are the object of family pride, and thus a means of enhancing its prosperity and influence within the group. It is in a spirit of competition that everyone will seek to highlight the danced performances of his mask, and to highlight the ornamental patterns of its surface.
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