|Title||Mossi Mask with Ridged Nose Burkina Faso African Art|
|Type of Object||Mask|
|Country of Origin||Burkina Faso|
|Approximate Age||Mid 20th century|
|Dimensions||Height: 18.5 Inches
Width: 5.5 Inches
Depth: 5 Inches
|Damage/Repair||large chip on right back side of map (seen in picture). cracked right eye, chips, dirt, general wear|
Additional Information: This mask is identified as Mossi by its ridged, painted nose and pinhole eyes. The face is painted in colors and patterns that remind of Bozo and Bobo works, with white and brown two-tone and red accents.
The Mossi are today the largest single group living in Burkina Faso (previously known as Upper Volta). They originated from horsemen who made their way north from present day Ghana sometime during the 1500’s. The Mossi established powerful kingdoms and though no longer as powerful the Mossi today still identify with their ancient kingdoms and recognize their ruling groups of elders through art and ritual. The Mossi are renowned for their masquerades and brightly painted masks and costumes. Ancestors are highly honored with elaborate funerals and the appearance of masked dancers with masks representing the social rank and identity of the deceased. Various spirits of the ‘bush’ recognized by the Mossi are also given form in the masks and their character proved in the dances.
For similar pieces see Christopher D. Roy, Thomas G.B. Wheelock, Land of the Flying Masks. Art and Culture in Burkina Faso, Prestel, 2007, figs 113, 114
Christopher Roy, The Art of Upper Volta, 1987.
Christopher D. Roy, Thomas G.B. Wheelock, Land of the Flying Masks. Art and Culture in Burkina Faso, Prestel, 2007