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.