H: 39 inches, W: 39 inches
The Bwa ethnic group , consisting of about 320,000 people occupy across Burkina Faso and Mali. The Bwa that live in the north create masks made of leaves, feathers, and plant fibers. The southern Bwa also make various types of wooden masks and other objects, which they adopted from neighboring Gurunsi people and from the Bobo. The masqueraders representing nature spirits, which influence human life, appear during intitiations, or market days, harvest rites, and other festive occasions. This mask is marked by a high degree of abstraction. Yet the Bwa associate some of the compositional elements with certain birds that play a role in the spirit world. The eyes set off by concentric circles for instance , are intended to recall an owl.