Antique African Bwa Tribe Mali Geometric Wooden Plank Mask W/horn Bill Large Yqz For Sale
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Part Of Incredible African Collection 45" Tall
- DESCRIPTION -
Please be patient there are 40 photos to be loaded in this sale.
We ended up with a collection of some of the best African artifacts we have ever sold. (And we have sold some good ones through the years.) We are putting them up in separate sales, so check them all out.
Up in this sale from the Bwa Tribe of Mali, Africa. Is a Geometric Wooden Plank Mask with a protruding horn bill in the front. This is large being 45" tall, 12 1/2" wide. There is some wood loss due to age at teh very top. Note: We first shot this prior to research and shot it completely upside down, thus the one with Daniel with it upside down. We kept those photos and put them at the end of the photos.
We found the following on zyama (one of our favorite African sites!):
Numbering 125,000 in Mali and 175,000 in Burkina Faso, the Bwa are divided in three endogamous castes: farmers, blacksmiths, and griots (bards and musicians). The Bwa are farmers who grow grain, especially millet, sorghum and maize. They have grown very large amounts of cotton since the colonial period, and the cultivating of this cash crop has contributed to the destruction of their traditional patterns of cooperative farming. Agriculture is practiced primarily by the men, women participating on certain occasions only. The blacksmiths forge tools and cast brass, and their wives make pottery. The blacksmith is also the village’s gravedigger and is responsible for digging wells. He is thus the man in contact with the soil; this indicates his importance, his role as mediator in disputes and as intermediary with the supernatural world. The griots weave and dye cotton. They play an important social role and are essential in public events. The Bwa have no centralized political organization and every village is directed by a council of the eldest men of the lineages.
The spiritual life of the Bwa is based on worship devoted to Do and the founding ancestors of the clan. Do is at once an organization and an anthropomorphic being, the son of the creator god. Do represents the life-giving powers of nature, the forest and nourishing forces, sources of the life of plants and the fields, and intervenes at the time of agrarian rituals and funerals. Do is incarnated at initiations and village purifications, held just after crops are planted, by an otherworldly spirit masker whose “skin” is vines, grasses, and leaves. Deliberately non-human in shape, color, and behavior, the maskers celebrate life and help renew the forces of nature.
Wooden masks are found only among the Bwa in the south. The majority of masks have a circular face with geometric designs painted in vivid colors, and is surmounted by a large plank with a crescent-shaped motif at the end. The eyes set off by concentric circles, for instance, are intended to recall an owl, and the hooked shape extending from its forehead alludes to the hornbill. These masks represent animals: antelopes, warthogs, wild buffalo, monkeys, crocodiles, serpents, fish, birds, and insects, along with some human beings, and bush spirits who take on supernatural forms. The motifs are symbols linked to Do and to the history of the clan. The mask is worn in front of the face. They are differentiated only by the shape of the horns, while the muzzle and protruding eyes remain the same structure. The dancer looks through the open hole of the mouth. These masks are thought to be inhabited by supernatural forces, which act to benefit the clan that possess them.
Estimated shipping weight, (packaged) is 8 lbs 8 oz in a 50 x 18 x 10 box.
The Calculator is not always right - if the shipping looks too high email us and we will give you an accurate quote prior to the sale ending.
What a great find!
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Antique African Bwa Tribe Mali Geometric Wooden Plank Mask W/horn Bill Large Yqz: $1,170