Burkina Faso

 The Kurumba people live in the north of Burkina Faso. They cultivate millet and cotton, and rear cattle in the savannah regions. The Kurumba produce a mask headdress in the form of antelope head. The approach is naturalistic, although there is some stylization. The powerful neck supports a head with a pointed protruding snout, and this line extends upwards, beyond the long sharp ears, in a gentle curve ending with the vigorous towering horns. These finely-shaped antelope heads are colorfully painted with large triangles in white, brownish-red, black, and light-blue, and the triangles are filled in with rows of spots. The headdress represents Yirige, the culture hero, who drove away evil spirits at the first tilling of the land. Mask dancers descended from heaven repeat the deeds of the hero-founder Yirige and his children. The mask also appears at the death ritual following the mourning period. The mask, which to an observer seems impossible for a dancer to balance, is fastened to the head with a plaited basket or by some other way. Other masks are rare.

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