African art > Mask > Mossi Mask
Bwa Mossi mask (N° 18127)
The African art sculptures of the Bobo, Bwa, Kurumba and Mossi, living in Burkina Faso, frequently pick up and combine stylized elements borrowed from humans, animals or insects. The convex face of this mask indicates a provenance of the northeastern Mossi region. It is characterized by flat horns curved inwards, symbolizing a bush animal, and a narrow mouth with prominent lips. The circular eyes are hollowed out. The engraved patterns, with an extinct polychromy, are inspired by traditional body scarifications. Beautiful locally flaked matte patina.
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The Mossi masks, personal or lineage, are an incarnation of guardian spirits offering their support. They perform at funerals, at the funerals of clan leaders, protect crops. True altars without their costume, they can receive libations such as millet beer in order to honor the ancestors. Their appearance is now common during entertainment shows. Upper Volta, Burkina Faso since independence, is composed of descendants of the Nakomse invaders, horsemen from Ghana, and the Tengabibisi, descendants of the natives. Among them, farmers and blacksmiths, saaba , used masks, wando, receptacles of the guardian spirits, which often represented the totem animals of the clan.
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