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Biiga (Child in Wood)

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unknown Mossi

Biiga (Child in Wood)

Late 19th century - Mid 20th century
Carved and incised wood with glass, metal, and plant material

14 15/16 in. x 4 3/4 in. (diameter) (38 cm x 12 cm)
Gift of Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.3.54
Other Number(s): 50 (Sotheby's Lot Number)
Geography: Africa, Burkina Faso, Volta River Basin, Boulsa (Upper Volta)
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Ritual Objects
Culture/Nationality: Mossi, Burkinabé, West African, African
Collection: Neufeld Collection
Mossi Biiga, or child figures, were often owned by newly married young women who desired assistance in conceiving. The figures also helped to protect the health and well-being of a child after birth. Though these figures were treated as surrogate children by some, they also served as toys for young girls.

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<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Biiga (Child in Wood) |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=1/21/2022 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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