MOSSI, BURKINA FASO
WOOD,PIGMENT HEIGHT 180CM
The Mossi name of these totem style masks is Karanga. The masks were worn at funeral ceremonies. The pattern on this very tall mask represents the “path of the ancestors”. The graphic lines and shapes illustrate the various rules which the living need to obey in order to receive the blessings of the ancestors. The crocodile was one of the protector spirits who would watch over a particular clan, which means the mask belonged to the whole clan and not to any individual. The mask is worn upside down with the tail towards the sky.