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Bwa Plank Mask

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Item 933
45.00 LBS
Maximum Purchase:
1 unit(s)

Product Description


The Bwa of Mali and Burkina Faso are surrounded by the Bamana in north, the Bobo in the west, the Marka in the east and the Gurunsi and Lobi in the south. Each Bwa village is directed by a council of elders. Socially the Bwa are divided into three endogamous professional classes or castes: farmers, blacksmiths and griots (musicians who recount historical information through song.) The spiritual life of the Bwa is based on worship devoted to Do and the founding ancestors. Do intervenes at the time of agrarian rituals and funerals. Do represents the life force of the forest, plant life and the fields. The Bwa people are responsible for creating beautiful long horizontal masks of butterflies, lizards, hawks, owls and large circular masks with colorful geometric designs that alludes to the sun. The tall plank masks represent spirits of nature and new life, Bayiri.

The plank mask is done in the Bwa signature colors of white, red and black. The mask has been burnt or blackened as Bwa tradition dictates. The main focal point and rare factor of this mask is the large 22 inch long lizard featured along the top most point of the structure. Brilliantly decorated in a checkerboard black and white pattern the lizard proudly symbolizes the the tribes' ability to expand its population.

Please click photo for enlargement!




Dimensions: 67 inches tall x  11 inches wide x 9 inches deep. The top lizard measures 22 inches long.

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