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Nwantantay Mask

African Art

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Nwantantay Mask

Artwork Details


Yacouba Bondé
Bwa, Burkinabé, born 1963


ca. 1986


Wood and paint

Accession #



97 x 22 x 16 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 403


Bwa plank masks, known more precisely as nwantantay, form the core of a visually spectacular entourage that includes abstract, human, and diverse animal forms. Their performances take place during the dry season between March and May and are among the most dramatic of all African mask dances. Bwa plank masks are carved from a single piece of wood and are painted with black, white, and red geometric patterns. In this mask, the zigzag lines in the center section denote ancestral paths and the x shaped markings above recall the Bwa scarification marks. A white crescent moon adorns the top of the mask.


Gift of Lucinda Bunnen