Item offered:

Bobo / Bwa Butterfly Plank Mask
(Burkina Faso)


Acquired in the early 1980s from a prominent ethnographic gallery in Manhattan, on offer from our private collection is this compelling polychrome Butterfly horizontal plank mask from the Bobo/Bwa peoples of the Burkina Faso region. Taking on the spirits of supernatural beings, such masks are danced during various ritual settings, including initiation & fertility rites, as well as funereal ceremonies. Rich with symbolism, the multiple concentric, geometric patterns all have specific meaning. Facial features include piercing eyes, protruding mouth, & a "hook nose" representing a beak. A single pigment (dark red) has been applied to the back of the mask.

Despite some imperfections in the wood, including an old dry-age crack, minor scrapes & abrasions, & a few scratches, this imposing mask is in very good overall condition & has a beautifully developed patina. With its intense gaze & bold designs, the piece makes a vibrant, attention-getting display.

wood, pigments

Approximate dimensions:
6" H x 30" W x 4" D

Estimated age:
50+ years

Total shipping weight:
ca. 12-lbs.

All sales final.


All items carefully packed & shipped after payment received & cleared via PayPal. Unless otherwise specified in the item description, shipping to the U.S. will generally be via USPS Priority Mail, USPS Parcel Post, or UPS. Expedited shipping upgrade is available & optional. Will ship worldwide, with international shipping rates to be determined by buyer's location. Insurance optional/additional. Seller not responsible for any damages incurred during shipping nor for any Customs-related fees for non-U.S. shipments.
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