African Tribal Art: Bwa People, Burkina Faso: Mask representing Dyo, Carved wood and pigments. Late 19th/early 20th century. The mask comes with a custom-made steel display stand.
The Bwa people use art as an aid in maintaining balance between their lives and the powerful forces of nature, called Dyo. These masks were worn at important rites and events. At funerals, their presence was required for the safe passage of the dead between this realm and the next.
The mask imagery, a combination of geometric abstract patterns and animal/bird/human features, are based on local references to the relationships of lineages or clans to the Dyo.
A comparable mask appears in AFRICAN ART MASTERPIECES, George Nelson Preston, Page 111, Plate 46.
51H; 62H on stand (inches).
Private Collection, Massachusetts, Private Collection, New York
Good condition with signs of use and age; worn patina; wood cracks and desiccation; some tribal repairs made with iron bands/cleats.
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