Very Important “Nwantantay” Dance Mask of three sections (Price On Request)

“Nwantamtay” Dance Mask; Upper Section in Crescent Moon Shape, Middle Section in Black and White Geometric Triangles and Lower with Bird Depiction.

SKU: AF-011 Categories:,

Product Description

Very important “Nwantamtay” dance african mask, consisting of three sections: The upper in plain rectangular shape surmounted by a Crescent shape moon, the middle with beautiful geometric triangles in black bitumen and white kaolin, surrounding a red cruciform in the center of remarkable contrasting colors, and the lower part or face inscribed in a circular space that inspired numbered great artists like Joan Miro, Picasso and Henry Moore of a very strongly solar symbolism, with a projecting protuberance emanating from the forehead like a sculpted bird beak, that descents toward the mouth. Concentric eyes harmonize with the circular mouth, both with of elegant proportions. The whole mask exudes a supreme harmony and perfect balance rarely seen in this pieces. The back-side presents nice ware that attested the ancient origin and traces of animistic ceremonies as the use of animal blood residues. The painting of brown bitumen or cola, the natural colorants in red and ocher tones and the white kaolin are original and do not show any repainted or restored areas, giving a freshness rarely seen in old pieces. This exceptional mask Bwa, of the Hound`e Region in Burkina-Fasso, was used it the transit ceremonies and funerals manifesting the presence of “Do”, name given to their God sons, protectors and powerful spirits. The round face also represents an owl, the curving beak of the bird plants a seed into the sun, like a female sexual vulva being fecundated by the male organ; the eternal symbol of Ying and Yang, masculine and feminine, and the quest of life and death. This mask of primitive facture can be compared to the one in the celebrated Verite Collection (this one being larger) sold in Paris at the Hotel Drouot, Saturday June 17, Lot 59, for 80,000 Euros and remarkably stands out from the Pierre and Tannia Matisse sold in Sotheby’s, New York in May 13, 2011. Another similar piece was published in: “Arman et l’art africain”, RMN, Paris, 1996. P,17. This superb mask can be classified as one of the most important piece in the corpus for this type in the world. Provenance: Old Monsieur Mozis Collection in Paris, acquired at the old Annamene Galerie in Paris in 1989.


A very similar piece was just sold in Sotheby’s on Nov. 13th 2017 from The Collection of Edwin & Cherie Silver Lot 12.