A Blacksmith’s Molo Mask


In stock

Category: SKU: FXB07284


A Blacksmith’s Molo Mask, Burkina Faso, region of Boromo, village Tansila, of hollowed form and large proportion, rectangular flat facial plane with elongated flattened nose, round pierced eyes of dried berries, the forehead overhanging, zoomorphic ears, the face crowned by high towering long horns, the entire composition is decorated with incised geometric motifs and black, white and red pigments in an effective and starkly contrasting manner, around the rim pierced through for attachment; the mask is carved from a single piece of wood, signs of age and long-lasting ritual use, incl. stand, collected by Mohamed Belo Garba, Ougadougou.

The molo mask were “used by Bobo smiths during initiations to represent the God Dwo, spirit of new life and growth in the springtime. The long rectangular face and strong vertical horns are quite typical of the type called molo, one of the most important and sacred of all the Bobo mask. Bobo performance are very athletic, with violent spinning in such a way that the mask may even fly from the head of the performer, and is held in place only by his firm grip on a fiber handle behind the chin.”

Lit.: Christopher D. Roy/Thomas G.B. Wheelock: Land of the Flying Masks. Art and Culture in Burkina Faso. The Thomas G. B. Wheelock Collection, München 2007, p. 416; Tiziana & Gianni Baldizzone: Die Regenmacher. Maskenzauber und Stammesriten, Paris 2020; Till Förster: Skulptur in Westafrika. Masken und Figuren aus Burkina Faso. Sammlung “Burkina Faso” aus dem Morat-Institut für Kunst und Kunstwissenschaft, Freiburg im Breisgau, Bremen 1995.

700 – 800,- Euro

Height: 135 cm
Weight: 5.2 kg (incl. stand).

Additional information

Weight 5.2 kg