Bwa Ram Mask

snk-1212-45_bobomask_r_DSC_0624 snk-1212-45_bobomask_l_DSC_0622 snk-1212-45_bobomask_f_DSC_0621 snk-1212-45_bobomask_b_DSC_0623 snk-1212-45_bobomask_34p_DSC_0625

SNK 1212-45

Bwa Ram Mask, Bobo Tribe, Burkina Faso

This colourful mask with a fascinating symbolic meaning is created by the Bobo Nunuma or Winiama peoples who live in eastern Burkina Faso and Mali in a region of dry savannas where harvest depends on rainfall.

The Bobo are farmers and their art is primary used in purification rituals meant to reconcile man with nature. For the Bobo masks have the essential function of erasing evil and reinstating the God-given balance between sun, earth, and rain. At the end of the dry season and before the work of cultivation begins, purification ceremonies take place, using masks in the shape of animals. Animals like the buffalo, antelope, serpent, and hawk incarnate forces of fertility, fecundity, and growth.

Among the Bobo, the sacredness of the mask derives from the fact that the divinity is considered to be present in the mask and, through it to be acting. The wearer is depersonalized to the advantage of the mask that he animates. To be a “mask”, man had to erase himself, that is to say, cease to be himself, shed his individuality.

Provenance: Private Danish collection. It was either acquired directly from Lau (Laurence) Sunde’s collection in Copenhagen, which dates back to the 1940s, or Lau (Laurence) Sunde was an adviser to the collector.
Sunde had a “Etnografica” boutique in 1948, that became recognized among collectors as the most specialized boutique of its kind at the time. Tribal and oriental artefacts were purchased from private collectors as well as at auctions in Paris, Amsterdam and London, among other places.

Full description of Lau (Laurence) Sunde will be forwarded by request.

Dimensions: L: 55 cm, H: 27 cm, W: 14cm


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