DescriptionMOSSI, Burkina Faso
Mossi culture consists of two groups living together. Around 1500, Nakomse horsemen invaded and conquered the Mossi Tengabissi farmers, settling down to rule as a political aristocracy. This system worked well: the Nakomse provided social and political order, leaving the Tengabissi free to farm and propitiate nature spirits.
Mossi farmers, Tengabissi, or "children of the earth," use masks, while the Nakomse, or "children of the Nam," or the right to rule, use male and female figures of ancestors kept in the ancestral spirit houses of chiefs. Some of the figures became associated with particular ancestors, making individual spirits tangible and validating Nakomse right to rule. Other figures are generic. All figures are displayed to the public at annual sacrifices for village well-being.
Height: 15 ¾ inches
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