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Bwa Mask Nuna Bush Cow Burkina Faso African Art

Product #: 114203
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Title Bwa Mask Nuna Bush Cow Burkina Faso African Art
Type of Object Animal mask
Country of Origin Burkina Faso
People Bwa, Bobo, or Nuna
Materials Wood, pigment, paint
Approximate Age Second half 20th century
Dimensions Height: 17 Inches
Width: 7 Inches
Overall Condition Fair. 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 Cracks and chips. Chipped lip

 Additional Information: A colorful mask with superb geometric motifs from Burkina Faso. It employs a representation of the bush cow.  It would have been worn on the head, tilting downward, fringed in a full-body raffia skirt. 

It was recorded that Bwa masks as well as Nuna, Nunuma, and Waniama wooden masks represent a number of characters in the myths of their families and clans. Obviously, The offered mask represents a bird. Masks represent numerous animals including the antelope, bush buffalo, monkey, and bush pig. Water-dwellers include the crocodile, and fish of several types. The serpent, and insects, appear as do  the butterfly, the hawks and vultures. Several human characters appear, including the leper, and the crazy man and his wife. Other masks represent bush spirits in supernatural forms.  The geometric patterns are also distinctive, and again almost all of the prototype Bwa symbols can be found, including the zigzag and checkerboard, common in initiation themes, and the beautiful multiple "X" patterns, which mimic the scarification designs found on the foreheads of initiated Bwa men. They may also have mythical meaning and They have a pedagogical purpose in the sense that these graphic patterns serve as didactic signs to teach the moral values of the community.

See photos of similar masks  in Christopher D., Roy  & Thomas G.B. Wheelock. Land of The Flying Mask. Art and Culture in Burkina Faso, Prestel, Munich, Berlin, London, New York, 2007. pp. 4, 51, 74,