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Bwa, Burkina Faso and Mali

Butterfly mask. The masks of the Bwa represent nature spirits or animals that family elders encountered in the wilderness and which watch over their families. They may represent antelopes, warthogs, wild buffalo, monkeys, crocodiles, serpents, fish, birds, butterflies, along with some human beings, and bush spirits who take on supernatural forms. This one is a butterfly mask. Butterfly masks are characterized by a number of target-like circles distributed across the wings. The butterfly is a symbol of the awakening of nature after the dry period and the emergence of fresh life. The geometric design found on the mask has a symbolic meaning that reveals itself to initiates gradually, as their experience and knowledge increase.

Material:  wood

Size:  H. 41”, W. 9”, D. 6”

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