Tribal art > African mask > Bobo Mask
Bobo hippotrague helmet mask (N° 21332)
Ex-collection African tribal art from France
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The African masks animal from Burkina Faso
This helmet mask of imposing dimensions embodies a large antelope from West Africa, the hippotrague, with its ringed horns tilted back. Semi-satin patina, desiccation cracks and abrasions.
The Bobo Fing are a Mandingo people, most of whom live in the east of Burkina Faso, but also in the south of Mali. Their culture is similar to that of the Bambara. They are organized in lineages led by councils of elders. In each village altars are erected under the authority of blacksmiths, priests of the Dwo cult, but the Bobo also venerate secondary spirits and those of the ancestors. In addition to objects carved from wood, they also make masks from fiber sheets to wear during ceremonies in order to establish a relationship with the spiritual world. The most important wooden masks are the sacred altar masks (molo and nwenke), the accompanying masks (nyanga) and the entertainment masks (Bole, sing. bolo). Before the rainy season, in order to restore the balance of nature, masked dancers embodying the genies protecting the village appear during purification ceremonies. Leaf masks embodying Dwo perform along with zoomorphic masks, the nyanga, evoking growth and fertility.
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