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Bobo Bolo helmet mask
In the Bobo, masks are the support of tradition and their meaning was revealed to young boys during their initiation. Living in a dry savannah country where the harvest depends on the arrival of the rains, the Bobo have instituted a series of purification rituals to reconcile nature, fundamentally good at home, unlike the ambivalence it has at home. other ethnic groups. Masks have the essential function of eradicating evil and restoring God's balance between sun, earth and rain.
All embody the forces of fertility, fertility and growth. This human-looking helmet mask is surmounted by a bird representation.
Among the Bobo peoples of southeastern Burkina Faso, masks belong to families and are included in initiation ceremonies, funerary rites, harvest ceremonies and masquerades intended solely for entertainment.
This helmet mask, called bolo (pl Bole), is an entertainment mask. It illustrates the widespread use of carved or pyro-engraved geometric motifs that characterize much of Bobo's and neighboring Gurunsi sculptural arts.
The dark patina reflects the use of black pigments that are made from boiled seed pods, red stones cut from iron-rich stone, and white pigments from collected lizard droppings or ground-grade chalk. .
Entertainment masks like this one are often danced on market days so that everyone can see and appreciate them. They can represent people or animals and are worn with fiber suits.
Like all wooden Bobo masks, this helmet mask was carved by an artist belonging to a blacksmith clan. In Bobo cosmology, the blacksmiths were the first beings created by the deity, Wuro. When Wuro retired from the world, he left behind him a part of himself, his son Dwo, whose manifold manifestations are reflected in the wide variety of Bobo masks.
As the first to be created, blacksmiths were also the first to receive Wuro masks; this allows them to control the production and use of all Bobo masks, whether wood, fabric, leaf or fiber.
Very beautiful antique room.
- Presumed dating
- 1st half XXth century
- 56 x 17 cm
- Expert's estimate
- 550 - 650 €
- Ethnic group
- Burkina Faso
- Tribal art collection France
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