This is a beautiful white kaolin Toussian Mask from the Southwestern part of Burkina Faso. This type of mask, usually made by blacksmiths, was used in initiation ceremonies. It is made of one, more or less square piece of hardwood, very two-dimensional, named Loniake. Two diagonals with small round eyes very close together high on a face and are surrounded by encrusted paint. The sides and lower edge are pierced with holes for attaching a fiber fringe. The mask is has a bird head, which symbolize the totem of the clan called the Loniake. This type of mask was used in initiation ceremonies. When these masks were not worn, the masks were sometimes suspended outside of the house, so that everyone can admire them. Their villages, kinship patterns, political systems and religious beliefs are similar to those of the Senufo related peoples who are their neighbors to the west. This is a wonderful and unique mask and would be a nice addition to you collection.
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