This page is a record of an exhibit that took place
in 1998. The individual links below will take you to
the CURRENT VERSION of the pages
that formed part of that exhibit.
The "Mossi Sculpture" exhibition shows the wonderfully varied
work of the blacksmith-sculptors of the Mossi people of Burkina Faso. Figures
are relatively naturalistic but uncommon; small one were often originally
part of masks. The exhibit has several, including one of exceptional size
and three post figures; all commemorated ancestors, have scarification patterns
indicating rank and were symbols of office.
Masks were more plentiful and of three distinctive types. Worn in ritual ceremonies several times a year, they aided communication with the spirits. Those from Ouagadougu are small cap masks (see poster) depicting animals and birds, worm with long fiber costumes. From the Yatenga region are tall plank masks, with concave faces and superstructures, honoring clan ancestors. Risian masks, Karanga, are similar to some Dogon masks, with convex faces and shorter, curving plank tops.
Additionally, the exhibit has biiaga, the doll-like figures girls carry, with their stylized gyonfo, or hairdos. Four unusual abstract headdresses, two massive, abstract doors and a group of of elegant bronze heads complete the show.