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Bwa Sun Mask Blue and Red Burkina Faso 29 Inch African Art

Regular Price: $599.00

Special Price: $350.00

Product #: 100939
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Title Bwa Sun Mask Blue and Red Burkina Faso 29 Inch Africa
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Burkina Faso
People Bwa
Materials wood, pigment, paint
Approximate Age second half 20th century
Dimensions Height: 30 Inches
Width: 27 Inches
Overall Condition Good
Damage/Repair some arrested bug damage holes. scrapes to surface pigments


Additional Information: A large plank mask in round  shape depicting a face with a arrow motif as a nose circular concentric eyes, and open round mouth. Known as a Sun mask, this piece is danced durring agricultural ceremonies to bless the crops.  T


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 have produced different types of masks made in wood that portray human and animals characters with dramatic abstracted features and brightly colored geometric designs worked onto the surface of their masks. Some other masks have abstract forms difficult to associate to any animal or human character. The Bwa religion is based upon magical objects and figures that are kept in village and family shrines. The spirit that inhabits the shrine also is found in masks that represent a spirit of the bush known as ‘Su’ that appears in different animal forms. These masks appear on a number of occasions including the initiation of young boys when they are informed about the different masks, their meanings, and how the various masks symbolize early myths and local history during annual celebrations when the masks are danced. Masks may also appear at the funerals of honored members of the men’s society or young men may simply dance masks on market days as entertainment and as a means to make money and attract young women. When not performing, the mask is kept in the possession of the local smith’s clan.


Recommended Reading:
Roy, C., The Art of the Upper Volta Rivers, 1987.