African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Mossi Statues
Female figure Mossi (N° 17870)
Female figure characterized by excessively long semi-flexed arms, well established on wide legs. She sports not only the traditional hairstyle gyonfo but also the ethnic scarifications of the Mossi. These tribal marks were made on the abdomen after the birth of the first child. This type of figure also overcame the masks karan-wemba . These statues have become rarer because of the conversions to Islam of their owners. The golden patina of this sculpture comes from renewed applications of shea butter. The Mossi chiefs have prestigious statues gathered in the house of ancestral spirits, and those of the soothsayers, depicting ancestors, possess a sacrificial patina.
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The Upper Volta, Burkina Faso since independence, is composed of the descendants of the invaders, horsemen who came from Ghana in the 15th century, named Nakomse, and Tengabibisi, descendants of the natives. Political power is in the hands of the Nakomsé, who assert their power through statues, while priests and religious leaders come from the Tengabisi, who use masks during their ceremonies. Animists, the Mossi worship a god who created Wendé. Each individual would be endowed with a soul, sigha , linked to a totemic animal.
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|Estimated dating||circa 1960|
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