Bobo Protective Bush Spirit for Harvest Ritual


The Bobo people's of Burkina Faso economy relies mainly on agriculture. Major food crops are sorghum, millet, yams and maize. They also grow cotton and peanuts as cash crops. The tribe believes that every act that takes something from nature has a negative impact. Before planting, they hold a series of purification rituals that ask the bush spirits to purify the land and chase evil from their community.

The Bobo inhabit a region of dry savannah in eastern Burkina Faso that depends on rainfall for a successful harvest. In order for this to happen they must restore the god given balance between sun, earth and rain. This is done through rituals that call upon protective bush spirits. The Bobo believe the spirits of animals such as the wild boar, antelope, hawk, and serpent are present in the masks they create and use. These masks are handed down through generations, gaining spiritual power with use and age.

This small, yet compelling bird mask is 10 inches long, 3.5 inches wide, and 3.5 inches deep.

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