Tribal art > African mask > Bwa Mask
Bwa warthog mask (N° 19200)
Embodying a spirit, this heavy mask appears to represent a warthog, but elements of other animals could be associated with it. The holder of the mask and his family worshipped the object with offerings such as millet beer and invoked its protection. The surface bears symbolic geometric patterns. The dark patina was usually obtained from charcoal and gum tree husks.
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Established on both sides of the Black Volta in Burkina Faso and Mali, the Bwa are divided into three endogamous castes: blacksmiths, griots and farmers. The Bwa believe in a god Difini creator of the world, who later abandoned him to his son Do. Do, whose emblem is an iron rhombus named alive , is supposed to intervene during funerals and agrarian rites. The masks made of leaves are made by the villagers, only the Bwa of the South, the niegue, produce wooden masks often zoomorphic, and the famous masks-platforms, abstract, representing the spirits of nature, the naw, are made by the villagers (C.Roy).
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