(BURKINA FASO, WESTERN AFRICA)
Bobo vertically-oriented masks appear at the initiations and funerals of members of the men's society, at agricultural rites to encourage crop fertility and at other ceremonies associated with the ancestors and nature spirits. Masks belong to clans, and references to clan animals, such as antelope horns and the many bird beaks of the present example, are often combined in imaginative ways. Bold, bright colors in abstract patterns are the norm for these vertical masks. The young men wearing them dance energetically and acrobatically, keeping the unwieldy masks in place by clenching their teeth on a "bite stick" that passes through the lower part of the mask, as seen in this example. Bright colors, dramatic dances and vertical mask forms all contribute to an arresting display.
Height: 42 inches
Estimate: $2,000 - $4,000.
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