A Gurunsi buffalo mask


In stock

Category: SKU: FSA05119


A Gurunsi buffalo mask with superstructure, region Boromo, between Oujadougo and Dobodioulasso, Burkina Faso, of hollowed oval form and large proportions, an elongated snout and open mouth beneath target-shaped eyes, a raised ridge running perpendicular between the eyes, atop a tall superstructure with complex series of planks of different forms, decorated with incised and painted lines and exes, which represent moral lessons, four stacked inverted vertical hooks running up to the centre, surmounted by two stacked balls atop the arched plank, around the rim pierced through for attachment; the entire mask is carved from a single piece of brown wood, fine encrusted patina of black, white and red pigments, traces of use and age, several cracks, incl. stand.

“The gurunis carve dozens of different types of mask in the form of animals, humans, and a large variety of purely abstract, non-representational shapes. Masks represent bush buffalo, antelope, bush pigs, hyenas, serpents, crocodiles, birds, insects, and several categories of humans. Many other mask consist of broad, short planks with curving beaks, cylindrical posts, hooks, crests, and a multitude of other shapes. All masks are covered with graphic patterns craved in the wood and painted the traditional red, with, and black. (…) These graphic patterns represent the commandments of God (…). The Mossi and the gurunsi paint them on broad planks or boards that the elders, who organize the initiation, use as teaching devices. The young initiates memorize the patterns and learn the meanings of the combinations of signs on each of the masks.”

Lit.: Christopher D. Roy/Thomas G.B. Wheelock: Land of the Flying Masks. Art and Culture in Burkina Faso. The Thomas G. B. Wheelock Collection, München 2007, p. 48.

700 – 900,- Euro

Height: 90 cm
Weight: 2,2 kg

Additional information

Weight 2.2 kg