A Mossi Female Figure – Ninana – Burkina Faso
Wood. Cm. 84,5 high. Weight 4 kg.
The unusual large size gives this example an exceptional display presence. The prominent crest at the top of the head derives from a traditional women’s coiffure. The scarification lines which border the face, are also Mossi features, both in life and in sculpture. The arms, in a downward, rigid position close to the body; the elongated torso, pendulous breasts, cylindrical neck and circular ears are also typical.
The figure is probably a “chief’s figure”. Such figures are normally kept within the chief’s compound, but when these figures are displayed in public during annual ancestor rituals, their bottom halves are wrapped in actual cloth in simulation of women’s clothing.