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Bwa Mask Nuna Zoomorphic Animal Burkina Faso African Art

Product #: 114291
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Title Bwa Mask Nuna Zoomorphic Animal Burkina Faso African Art
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Burkina Faso
People Bwa
Materials wood, pigment
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 15 Inches
Width: 5.25 Inches
Depth: 8 Inches
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair scraped and worn surface. dirty

Additional Information:  A colorful mask with superb geometric motifs from Burkina Faso. It employs a face that resembles an those of other notable masks from the region like bush cow and others among the Bwa, like plank mask is known as a Nwantantay, only without the superstructure. Perhaps it is representing a bird.  It would have been worn on the head, tilting downward, fringed in a full-body raffia skirt, with the dancer peering through the opening in the mouth. Such masks were danced at the funerals of important members of the community, at the annual village purification ceremony. 

The Bwa, unlike their more traditional Bobo neighbors, are far more receptive to change and outside influence, therefore they are prone to produce masks of a more fanciful nature than their conservative relatives.  

The Bwa occupy large areas of Mali and Burkina Faso, extending from the banks of the Bani River in Mali in the north almost to Diebougou and the Ghana/Burkina border in the south. The Bwa are farmers, which they consider to be the most noble of occupations. Most of the fieldwork is done by men, although women help out occasionally during the planting and harvest. In addition to cotton, which dominates their fields, the Bwa grow millet, sorghum, rice, yams, and peanuts. The Bwa now grow so much cotton they often must purchase other foods for cash in distant markets.