African art > African mask > Kurumba Mask

Masque Kurumba Adone (N° 18918)

Totemic figuration in African art Kurumba
The Kurumba live in the north of Burkina Faso. This emblematic crest mask of most of the Kurumba clans, with a protective purpose, was intended to honor the memory of the ancestors during mourning rites. It could also be used as an altar in the house sheltering the spirits of the ancestors of the lineage. Evoking the female hippotrague antelope with horns straighter than those of the male, it features a long powerful neck on which the animal's head develops, from a cylindrical face mask perforated for vision. A tapered muzzle, decorative patterns of cowrie shells emphasizing the volumes, and an elegant polychromy raised by dotted lines characterize this object.
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 agricultural festivals to ensure the progression of the seasons, and during initiation rites they initiate young people to the responsibilities of 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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Originex-collection française
Countryburkina faso
Material(s)wood, cauris
Weight3.75 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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