A striking rare wooden helmet surmounted by a stylized representation of a buffalo with a pair of curving horns projecting from a flat, rectangular head, a tubular body standing on four legs. There are two large, curving horns which are attached to the helmet with leather strips.
Initiation is central to spiritual and social practices of Tussian culture in Burkina Faso. In preparation for its most important event that occurs only every forty years, initiates stay in seclusion for three months. They are in turn given the names of a variety of animals associated with tutelary spirits represented through mask forms. These masks become the property of the newly named initiates. This example consists of a wooden helmet surmounted by a stylized representation of a buffalo, an animal associated with ideas of leadership and prestige.
Mid 20th Century.
Provenance UK collection.
Stand is included, it is actually fixed on.
Height w/o stand 17 inches/43 cms, width 19 inches/48 cms
Height with stand which is attached to the helmet 23ins//58cms
weight 5.1 kg