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Large newenka Bobo mask Burkina Faso Wood, pigments H.: 117.5 cm. Long polychrome mask with prominent forehead highlighted by a red sagittal crest. The straight, imposing nose joins an angular mouth and resembles a long muzzle. On each side, the eyes are suggested by two rectangular cavities. The domed skull is crowned by two large rounded horns. The polychromy is accentuated on the whole by a play of geometric motifs. This mask is used by the blacksmith caste during mourning ceremonies. The ancestors are asked to "give eyes" to the deceased so that they can see the road and wait for the volta, the residence of the dead. The moment of piercing the rectangular eyes is important because it gives life to the mask. This mask can also be used in the Siberian cults, still of the blacksmith caste. The triangles symbolize amulets linked to this cult. Object that was generally little used as a late replacement, before integrating the colonial circles as an object of knowledge or ornament.Consultant : Jean-Pierre LACOSTE

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