This African Bwa mask is topped with a plank and a male figure carved in round-bump. Decorative engravings adjoin with a hooked beak evoking the bird. According to Gabriel Massa and Chantal Dewé, the concentric circles symbolize the original sacred wells, the triangles the footprints of the antelopes, and the curved hooks the calao, an animal associated with divination. Dry and abraded matte patina. The African art sculptures of the Bobo, Bwa, Kurumba and Mossi, living in Burkina Faso, frequently pick 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 of collective rites. It is therefore during different celebrations that the mask will personify a spirit of nature or that of an ancestor in order to influence the daily lives of members of the ethnic group. They appear to honor the dead during funeral rites, and to escort souls to the realm of the dead. They also occur at agricultural festivals in order to ensure the progression of the seasons, so during the initiation rites will they introduce young people to the responsibilities of adult life. Masks are the object of family pride, and therefore a way to enhance their prosperity and influence within the group. It is in a spirit of competition that everyone will seek to showcase the danced performance of his mask, and to highlight the ornamental motifs of his surface. Source: " Wild African AnimalMass of Black Africa, Ed. Sepia
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