Tribal art > African Statues > Mossi statue
Mossi Nakomse ancestor figure (N° 19824)
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This sculpture with a balanced morphology has a thick greasy patina. The traditional ethnic scarification marks can be seen on the surface. These tribal marks were made on the abdomen after the birth of the first child.
Good condition despite some desiccation cracks.
This type of figure also topped karan-wemba masks. These statues have become rarer due to the conversions of their owners to Islam. The patina usually comes from renewed applications of shea butter. Mossi chiefs have prestigious statues gathered in the house of ancestral spirits, and those of diviners, representing ancestors, have a sacrificial patina.
Upper Volta, Burkina Faso since independence, is composed of the descendants of the invaders, horsemen who came from Ghana in the fifteenth century, named Nakomse, and the Tengabibisi, descendants of the natives. Political power is in the hands of the Nakomse, who assert their power through statues, while the priests and religious leaders are from the Tengabisi, who use masks during their ceremonies. Animists, the Mossi worship a creator god named Wendé. Each individual is said to have a soul, sigha, linked to a totemic animal.
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