Tribal art > African mask > Bobo Mask
Newenka Bobo Fing Mask (N° 19242)
Variant of the African mask Newenka of the Bobo Fing, it offers a zoomorphic head topped by a crescent crest, itself surmounted by an animal figure. This voluminous specimen was worn exclusively by members of the blacksmith caste, during mourning ceremonies, to accompany the deceased to his ultimate residence, the volta. At the moment when the eyes of the mask were hollowed out, always starting with the left eye, the spiritual incarnation came to life in the room. The upper part of the mask, in a crescent shape, would represent the flight of a bird. Beautiful patina of matt and crusty use, cracks of desiccation.
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A Mandingo people, most of whom live in the east of Burkina Faso, but also in the south of Mali, the culture of the Bobo Fing 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 in wood, they also make masks out of fiber sheets that they will wear during ceremonies in order to establish a relationship with the spiritual world.
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