A Karan-wemba mask, Mossi nyonyosé, region de Kaya, village Boulsa, Burkina Faso, of stylized, hollowed oval form, a flat-concave face with a vertical, jagged central ridge and triangular pierced eyes, surrounded by a carved jagged line along the rim, surmounted by a typical female figure of the Mossi representing a female ancestor (tribe or clan mother), the figure has slightly bent legs ending up in a prominent buttock, a slender torso with a pointed navel, arms carved close to the body, large hands, hanging, tapering breasts, rounded shoulders, slightly emphasized shoulder blades, displays typical tribal scarification marks on the face and the body, wears colorful beads around neck and waist, capped by a three-parted coiffure, the mask pierced through at the rim for attachment; carved from a single piece, shiny brown to blackened patina, traces of use and age, several cracks and old authentic repairs around the mask, incl. stand.
“The female figure above the face of the mask represents a woman who has married, had children and grandchildren, and, whose, husband having died, has returned to the home where she grew up. There she is regarded as a living ancestress, and when she dies her funeral is celebrated with a mask like this example.”
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, Prestel 2007, p. 406; Stanley Museum Uiowa, Collections African-Art, Burkina Faso, Mossi Peoples.
Height: 110 cm
Weight: 3.90 kg