Crest Mask
Winiama Tribe, Burkina Faso
Wood, mineral pigments

H: 34"
Inventory # 10554

The Winiama people of central Burkina Faso carve masks to represent spirits of the wilderness. They seek the help of powerful bush spirits who live in the wild forests, bush country, and rivers surrounding their villages. Wishing to control these forces and enlist their help against the powers of destruction, they create zoomorphic masks that make the spirits visible and put them in touch with the people. Dancing these masks on market days, initiations, and annual celebrations where the community is swept of evil forces honors these bush spirits and brings forth their blessings.