African art > African mask > Masque Gurunsi
Among the Gurunsi, Lela, Winiama, Nuna and Nunuma are the main mask sculptors. They influenced the style and meaning of the masks of their neighbors Mossi and Bwa. Several animals can be represented: buffalo, antelope, warthog, hyena, calao, snake and crocodile and their combined attributes.
The ornamentation is distributed on each side of the mask: the black triangles refer to the footprints of the antelope hooves and the conical protrusions symbolize the beaks of the calao, associated with divination. A female figure in the invocation position appears in a round-bump halfway up. Mate patina, locally chipped, slight cracks of desication.
These masks were worn by the members of the village, completely concealed under outfits made of plant fibres, during the ritual dances. The ...