Formerly, these masks were regarded as the seat of the spirit, but they might also represent the totemic animal of the clan. Each family would refer to an appropriate myth explaining the mask’s origin. They preside over the sacrifices offered at the beginning of the rainy season, which were to insure the community a good millet crop and harvest of wild fruits. They “supervised,” before the first harvest. Between “appearances,” the masks remained in the family shrine, where they received prayers and sacrifices for those members of the family who were in need, and they aided communication with the ancestors.
Exhibited at the Fertile, Frightful, Divine show. New Brunswick, NJ. July 2011
Reserved for a client