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Mask hawk nwantantay Bwa Gurunsi Burkina Faso Wood, pigments H.: 93 cm. Mask zoomorphic and polychrome nwantantay. The flat, circular face is surmounted by a panel decorated with white and black geometric checkerboards, which represents the value oflifelong learning. The concentric eyes are pierced in the centre, the diamond mouth reveals sharp teeth. The hook that emerges from the board and hangs over the forehead is supposed to recall the beak of the Abyssinian hornbill (Bucorvus abyssinicus), but also evokes a phallic symbol. The masks come out in groups during ceremonies accompanying harvests and funerals, they manifest the power of Do, the name given to the son of water. Object that generally served little purpose as a late replacement, before being integrated into colonial circles as an object of knowledge or ornament.Consultant : Jean-Pierre LACOSTE

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