Mossi karanga masqueraders appear on several important occasions, including burials, annual funerary celebrations, and rites to ensure the blessings of the ancestors on a community. For a performance, the masquerader would don a costume consisting of shirt, pants, and a fringed fiber skirt with attached rattles. A cloth or fiber cap was sewn to the holes behind the base of the superstructure to help hold the mask in place, and, to keep it in position, the masquerader clamped in his mouth a stick that passed through the large hole toward the bottom of each side.
Mossi peoples, Burkina Faso
First half of the 20th century
Wood, pigment, fiber
H. 70 in. (177.8 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Rita and John Grunwald, 71.111