This crestless figure, an attribute of Mossi women, is established on long curved legs. The narrowness of the shoulders, extended by the arms spaced from the trunk, contrasts with the hips, which gradually flare out from the arched bust. Traditional linear scarifications stand out on the head. These carvings have become rarer due to their owners' conversions to Islam. The patina usually comes from renewed applications of shea butter. The Mossi chiefs have prestigious statues gathered in the house of ancestral spirits, and those of the soothsayers, representing ancestors, have a sacrificial patina.
Beautiful patina of use, desication cracks. Ocher residual pigments.
Upper Volta, Burkina Faso since independence, is made up of the descendants of the invaders, horsemen who came from Ghana in the 15th century, named Nakomse, and the Tengabibisi, descendants of the natives. Political power is in the hands of the Nakomsé, 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 venerate a creator god named Wendé. Each individual would be endowed with a soul, sigha, linked to a totemic animal.
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