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Mossi Bwa Mask (N° 14483)
Ex-collection French African art.
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Plane and circular, this African mask features a décor of symbolic geometric patterns arranged in successive circular friezes, and features a matte polychromy, burgundy red, white kaolin and dark grey. The mouth in which teeth are represented is hollowed out to allow the dancer's vision. Very slight abrasions. The African art sculptures of bobo, Bwa, Kurumba and Mossi, living in Burkina Faso, frequently take up and combine stylized elements borrowed from humans, animals or 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 scars of collective rites. It is therefore 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 realm of the dead. They also occur during agricultural festivals in order to ensure the progression of the seasons, so during the initiation rites they will introduce young people to the responsibilities of adult life. Masks are the object of family pride, and thus a way to enhance 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 motifs of his surface.
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