The first Mossi Empire was founded by invaders from northern Ghana. Today, the Mossi are the largest ethnic group living in Burkina Faso. On many occasions each year, especially during the long dry season from October to May, masks appear to honor the spirits of nature that control the forces of the environment. Masks attend to honor the deceased and to verify that the spirit of the deceased merits admission into the world of ancestors. Without a proper funeral, the spirit remains near the home and causes trouble for his/her descendants. A very abstract mask from the eastern area with a tall post above the face to which fiber was attached. Color pigments.
H: 81 cm (approx. 2’ 8”)
Estimated age: early 20th century
Provenance: Formerly part of an old Dutch collection; Formerly part of a German collection; Austrian private collection