Burkina Bobo Nweka Mask

$1,295.00 inc. GST

Burkina Bobo Nweka Mask

– Masks of this type were made, owned, and danced by Bobo blacksmiths.

Sacred, they incarnated the spirit of Dwo, the son of the creator-god, Duro, and danced at funerals and annual festivals.

Dimensions (H) 104cm (W) 20cm (D) 22cm

This mask comes with it’s own custom made steel stand

Height with stand (H) 133cm

Only 1 left in stock


Burkina Bobo Nweka Mask

The Bwa masks are usually black and white; additional colors are subject to individual carvers and their styles. Animal depictions are a common attribute of the works. Plank Masks are the most known style of masks for this society. they are vertically shaped and attached to a disk-like base. Decoration is subject to change, but it mostly comes down to zigzags, squares, and circles. The Bwa also make horizontal and heterogenous masks. Heterogenous masks have an ovoid head with round and/or diamond eyes. Sometimes, the artist will choose to add on designs such as crescents or human figures.

Luruya mask with abstract design of geometric patterns, all of which are symbolic; 19th-20th centuries; painted wood and fibre; height: 81.3 cm; Birmingham Museum of Art (USA). This diminutive mask represents Luruya, an ancestor who was small in stature yet revered because he could communicate with animals. The crescent above the a panel with crossed lines, and a red horn above a circular face are characteristic of Bwa plank masks. The lines represent forehead scarification

The Bwa are well known for their use of traditional tribal masks. There are several types of masks produced by the Bwa that are used in traditional rituals.

In particular the Southern Bwa are known for their tall plank masks, known as nwantantay, and tend to use wood to make their masks. This is a result of their adoption of Nuna religion and their traditions of using wooden masks. The religion associated with wooden masks is focused on the spirit Lanle, whose power is manifested through the wooden masks. Nwantantay can also be made of polychrome by the blacksmiths. Built in horizontal shapes, these masks can represent different animals and have specific designs. For example, a butterfly mask would have concentric circles, while a hawk mask would have a plain white surface. these masks are worn for female entertainment.

The northern Bwa use leaf masks more than wooden ones. These leaf masks frequently represent Dwo in religious ceremonies. The masks also represent the bush spirits including serpentsmonkeysbuffalo and hawks. Mask performances generally take place in the dry season between February and May.


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