Large Bobo Molo Mask

14949. Large Bobo Molo Mask

Burkina Faso

A classic example of the sacred mask of the blacksmiths, made for ritual use, the long rectangular flat facial plane bears a long thick straight nose, small relief cylindrical mouth, square eyehole openings at sides, and is dominated by a domed helmet with a curved sagittal crest, and two straight horns of long vertical axis extend above. Deep dark brown patina with traces of kaolin pigment. Some losses to the edge of the chin, and remnants of an indigenous repair of a break along the back. Size: 53”H. (135cm) + Custom floor mount. According to Christopher Roy, the “molo” masks were carved of a sacred tree, “lingue, Afzelia Africana”, and would have been worn by a performer wearing a costume of leaves. The ritual mask was worn during initiation ceremonies, representing Dwo, a son of Wuro, a creator deity. A similar mask can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art site, collection no. 1997.444.3
Provenance:Private collection; Ex Jacques Germain, Montreal / Copy of invoice included. Published: Sothebys NY, 8 May 1996, lot 61.


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