Wooden Mask
Burkina Faso, early 20th century

Large abstract wooden masks were used in public dance performances in Burkina Faso. Repainted annually, these masks are heavily steeped in symbolic rhetoric. The masks were utilized for many years until they were eventually 'retired', at which point they were kept indoors in private residences and displayed on alters. The wood on this particular mask is heavily oxidized, giving off an extraordinary patina, as a result of constant re-painting and use, as well as years of being kept in doors. The mask is an abstracted humanistic face, with open mouth and horns. A circular decorative patterning covers the front of the mask. The mask has fantastic movement and almost seems to change shape when viewed from different angles. The mask is in excellent condition, however native repairs to the horns are visible.

Height: 27" in.
IN 12-9-13 / SOLD