- Label Text
- Among Bobo peoples of southeastern Burkina Faso, masks are owned by families and appear in initiation ceremonies, burial and funeral rites, harvest ceremonies and in masquerades intended solely to entertain. This cap mask representing a hornbill bird, was used in purification rites preceding the agricultural season. It illustrates the widespread use of red, black and white pigments and the carved or pyroengraved geometric patterns that characterize much of Bobo and neighboring Gurunsi sculptural arts. Black pigment is made from boiled seedpods, red from ground stone that is rich in iron and white pigment from gathered lizard excrement or ground classroom chalk.
- Like all wooden Bobo masks, this helmet mask was carved by an artist from a smith clan. In Bobo cosmology, smiths were the first beings to be created by the deity, Wuro. When Wuro withdrew from the world, he left behind a part of himself, Dwo, his son, whose multiple manifestations are reflected in the great variety of Bobo masks. As the first to be created, smiths were also the first to receive masks from Wuro; this entitles them to control the production and use of all Bobo masks, be they crafted from wood, cloth, leaves or fiber.
- Wood cap mask in the form of a hornbill bird's head with a long, curving beak and surmounted by a pierced, almond shape. The mask is painted in red, white and black geometric pigmentation.
- Paul and Ruth Tishman, New York, -- to 1984
- Published References
- Sieber, Roy and Arnold Rubin. 1970. Sculpture of Black Africa: The Paul Tishman Collection. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, no. A4.
- Data Source
- National Museum of African Art
- Bobo artist
- Early to mid-20th century
- Credit Line
- Gift of Walt Disney World Co., a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company
- Wood, paint
- H x W x D: 88.8 x 22.5 x 36 cm (34 15/16 x 8 7/8 x 14 3/16 in.)