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Tribal art > African mask > Bwa mask

Bwa Gurunsi vertical plank zoomorphic mask (N° 15030)

The Bwa would have borrowed from the Gurunsi (Nunuma, Nuni, etc.) this type of mask topped with a plank, embodying the spirits of the bush associated with the founding myths of the different clans. Decorated with a network of geometric patterns, the X of which takes up the scarification inscribed on the insiders' forehead, we can distinguish on this mask ancient traces of polychromy. Always carved in a particularly dense wood, this mask required athletic qualities on the part of the dancer in order to manage to carry it in balance while performing acrobatic feats during funerals or agrarian parties. Abrasions, very slight cracks, kaolin residue.
The African art sculptures of Bobo, Bwa, Kurumba and Mossi, living in Burkina Faso, frequently take 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 scars of collective rites. It is therefore during various celebrations that the mask will personify a spirit of nature or that of an ancestor in order to influence the daily life of the members of the ethnic group. They appear to honor the deceased during funeral rites, and to escort souls to the realm of the dead. They also occur during agricultural festivals in order to ensure the progression of the seasons, so during the initiation rites they will introduce young people to the responsibilities of adult life. Masks are the object of family pride, and thus a way to enhance its prosperity and influence within the group. It is in a spirit of competition that everyone will seek to highlight the danced performances of his mask, and to highlight the ornamental motifs of his surface.
Litt.: "Black African Animal Masks" ed. Mr. Sepia. G. Massa and C. Dewé.  

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Originex-collection française
Countryburkina faso
Height cm180
Width23 cm
Weight6.50 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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