Buffalo Helmet Mask (Kablé)

Northern Tussian or Siemu

Not on view

Initiation into the powerful Dó association is central to spiritual and social practices of Tussian culture in Burkina Faso. In preparation for its most important event that occurs only every forty years, initiates stay in seclusion for three months. They are in turn given the names of a variety of animals associated with tutelary spirits represented through mask forms. These masks become the property of the newly named initiates. This highly abstract and whimsical example consists of a wooden helmet surmounted by a stylized representation of a buffalo, an animal associated with ideas of leadership and prestige. A zigzag representation of a bird associated with Dó’s leadership, is featured at back.

Buffalo Helmet Mask (Kablé), Wood, Northern Tussian or Siemu

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