This Mossi mask is a beautiful piece of artwork. It was carved with four rectangular eyes, and a long crest with protruding wooden pegs. It has interesting geometric designs throughout. The mask comes with a custom fitted stand. The mask itself is 18.5 inches tall, and 23.5 inches displayed on the stand. It weighs 3 pounds off the stand and 4.5 pounds on it. There is some chipping on the back of the mask – please inspect photos carefully.
|Type of Object||
|Country of Origin||
18.5" mask | 23.5" on stand
3 lbs mask | 4.5 lbs on stand
Chips on back of mask
About the Mossi People
“The various tribes living in Burkina Faso (formerly Upper-Volta), Ghana and Togo cultivate millet and cotton, and rear cattle in the northern savannah regions. Their religious activities are dictated by the rhythm of the seasons – during the dry season in particular, when the fields are fallow, large festivals and ceremonies are organized.
The first Mossi empire was founded during the 15thcentury by invaders from northern Ghana. Today, the Mossi are the largest tribe living in Burkina Faso. They number 2,000,000 and are the only tribe discussed in this chapter who have a centralized governing body, in addition to clans and professional corporations led by elders known as Zaksoba.
Mossi sculptors are famous for their polychrome masks which are worn during funeral ceremonies and to guard crop. These masks – which have a totemic role – are stored carefully when not worn and are given libations in exchange for help in everyday Mossi life.”
Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.