African traditional art influenced the modernists

Bwa of Burkina Faso
Bwa of Burkina Faso

Q: I came across another mask and write to inquire about its potential value. It is 24 inches in diameter. Attached are a couple of pictures. Let me know if its worth pursuing or not.  In the meantime, stay warm and keep in touch.  Charlie, 593

A: I think it is worth pursuing. This is a beautiful piece from the Bwa people of Burkina Faso, a culture whose traditional art is especially appealing to collectors. This large, flat circular design is one of many different ones they do, though the black, white and red geometrics are usually present in all. The Baule of Ivory Coast make a circular kple kple mask that is also geometric and very popular with collectors. Your mask is an excellent example of Bwa art both artistically and in condition. And it demonstrates the influence African traditional art had on Western modernists. Go for it!  B



  • Bob Ibold

    Good question, but I suggest you use Google to find the answer. I usually don’t get into the details of cultural usage. My background is in art rather than anthropology.

  • leon

    tip Ellen Vogel African Masks! or ;by francine endyaie Musee de L’Homme magical masks
    page 58-64 note page 61 monkey mask!

    grtz Leon or Madrason

  • MasterGoP

    at Mumbai s Jhaveri Contemporary Gallery until 7 May. The strong references to tribal art, and masked figures in particular, in this beautifully mounted exhibition demonstrate that the influence of African art is very much alive in the t century, too.

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