These old and well-used zoomorphic masks, each in the form of a bushcow - one possibly a calf, come from the Bwa or Nuna people of Burkina Faso, West Africa. They represent protective bush spirits, and were danced during the dry season, during funerals for elders, or during the initiations of young men - all chaotic and stressful times for the village.
Showing wonderful, softened surfaces from many years of service. Organic red, black and white pigments are expertly organized in the typically bold, geometric patterning of the region. Dimensions are 15"H for the larger, and 12"H the smaller. Early 20th century. Provenance: Peter Pollack, NYC and FL, since the early 1960's.