African art > Mask > Mossi Mask
Mossi helmet mask (N° 16761)
Incarnating a spirit, this convex mossi mask, with a crenellated central ridge and an element evoking a bird's beak, is enhanced with bright colors. The holder of the mask and his family worshipped the object through offerings such as millet beer, while invoking its protection.
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The black patina was originally made from charcoal and gum pods.
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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