Old Fine Bwa Nuna Catapult – Carved Wood – Burkina Faso
Carved wood. Cm. 21,5 high x cm. 7,2 width (8.64″ x 2.76″); grams 91,9 (3.24 oz).
The Bwa is an African society that is native to Burkina Faso. This society has an approximate population of over 300,000 persons. The Bwa people live in a number of individualized communities. They have no central government, and rely on their community standards.
Animism is the main religious belief practiced by the Bwa. The creator deity of the Bwa is known as Wuro, a god who designed the earth with the intention of establishing balance. Wuro was said to be hurt by a human, and in return, he decided to send his eldest son Dwo to act as the communication line between him and the people. Wuro had three sons: Dwo, the god of rebirth, Soxo, the god of the wilderness, and Kwere, the lightning god.
While the Bwa are famous for their masks, it is the purpose behind the pieces that provides the real significance. Using these masks, along with scepters and diverse body adornments, the Bwa will dance and perform these items in representation of different spirits. Those Bwa members who have gone through initiation—a process of transitioning from a child to an adult member of society—are grouped together in age grades. During ceremonies, they adorn and praise the masks that are being performed as a group. It is also important to note that these mask performances are not gender specific. Women are very much a part of these events just as much as their male counterparts.
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