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Mossi Karanga Mask Yatenga Superstructure Africa 23 Inch

Product #: 115464
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Title Mossi Karanga Mask Yatenga Superstructure Africa 23 Inch
Type of Object Wooden Mask
Country of Origin Burkina Faso
People Mossi or Moshi
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age mid 20th century
Dimensions Height: 23 Inches
Width: 7.25 Inches
Depth: 6 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 Wear, cracks and chips, top of superstructure had been repaired and broke off completely.

Additional Information:  An impressive mask with very long narrow superstructure painted in white, black and red, decorated with geometric motifs. This mask comes from the Mossi nyonyonse and is carved in the famous Yatenga style. This is a classic Karanga mask usually  divided into a number of separate but related sections made from a single piece of wood. The white-painted oval face is divided by a sculpted vertical centerline. The face is surmounted by the head of an antelope with two long horns. The top has a very long superstructure. Such masks were worn at the funerals of elders. A photograph by Christopher Roy (1977) shows similar mask leaving the hut of  the deceased where it has spent the night  (Christopher D. Roy, Thomas G.B.Wheelock, LAND OF THE FYLING MASKS, fig. 18, p. 55).

The Mossi are today the largest single group living in Burkina Faso. They originated from horsemen who made their way north from present day Ghana during the 1500's. The Mossi are renowned for their masquerades and the use of large superbly sculpted and brightly painted masks and colorful costumes or  vegetal fibers costumes . Mossi elders are honored with elaborate funerals and the appearance of masked dancers with masks representing ancestors, various spirits, and forces of Nature in dramatic and often vigorous dances.This splendidly sculpted and brightly colored mask that is worn on the face and resting on the top of the head is supported by a web of cords woven through the sides of the mask at the back of the dancer' s head. Due to its size and height it requires great skill on the part of the wearer to keep it upright while being danced.The costume is usually made out of vegetal ruff.

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