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unknown Nafana

Bedu Mask

19th century - 20th century
Carved and painted wood

54 5/16 in. x 23 in. (138 cm x 58.42 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.3.48
Other Number(s): 42 (Sotheby's Lot Number)
189 (42) (Neufeld Collection Number)
Geography: Africa, Burkina Faso
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Masks
Culture/Nationality: Nafana, Burkinabé, West African, African
Collection: Neufeld Collection

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • African - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Africa, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Burkina Faso - Style and culture of the people of Burkina Faso.
  • female - Referring to the sex that normally produces eggs or female germ cells.
  • masks - Refers to coverings for all or part of the face, usually with openings for the eyes and sometimes the mouth. They are worn to hide or alter the identity of the wearer or for protection. Masks as cultural objects have been used throughout the world in all periods since the Stone Age. Masks are extremely varied in appearance, function, and fundamental meaning. They may be associated with ceremonies that have religious and social significance or are concerned with funerary customs, fertility rites, or curing sickness. They may be used on festive occasions or to portray characters in a dramatic performance and in re-enactments of mythological events. They may be used for warfare and as protective devices in certain sports. They are also employed as architectural ornaments.
  • Nafana - Style and culture of the African ethnic group of the same name inhabiting northern Ghana and Burkina Faso.
  • painting - The application of paint to a surface primarily for protection or to apply a general color. For the application of pigments to a surface to create an expressive or communicative image, use "painting (image-making)."
  • ritual objects - Objects used for a particular ritual activity, often as part of a ceremony.
  • West African - Styles and cultures from the region comprising the westernmost area of the African continent, defined by the United Nations as including the modern nations of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
  • wood - The principal tissue of trees and other plants that provides both strength and a means of conducting nutrients. Wood is one of the most versatile materials known.

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version
Additional Image 99.3.48_BMC_f_2.jpg
Additional Image 99.3.48_BMC_f.jpg
Additional Image 99.3.48_BMC_r.jpg
Additional Image 99.3.48_BMC_r_2.jpg
Additional Image 99.3.48 In the Neufeld's Home
99.3.48 In the Neufeld's Home

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:
  • The Art of Black Africa: A Survey of African Sculpture from Collections in the Midwest Flint Institute of Arts , Feb 8, 1970 – Apr 5, 1970
  • African Sculpture from the Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Delawter, April 9-July 5, 1967 Cranbrook Academy of Art , Apr 9, 1967 – Jul 5, 1967

  • Owner Name: Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953
    Role: Donor
    Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US
    Acquisition Method: Purchase
    Disposal Method: Donation
    Ownership End Date: 12/20/1996

  • Owner Name: Hilbert H. (1920-1999) and Laurie (1920-1994) Delawter
    Role: Previous Owner
    Place: Michigan, US
    Acquisition Method: Purchase
    Ownership Start Date: 12/09/1964
    Ownership End Date: after 1967

  • Owner Name: Galerie Kamer
    Role: Seller
    Place: New York
    Disposal Method: Sold
    Ownership End Date: 12/9/1964

Bibliography List
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Important Tribal Art Sotheby's . New York, NY, 1989
    Figure Number: 42
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): Record No.: 0071279.
  • African Sculpture from the Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Hilbert H. DeLawter Cranbrook Academy of Art. Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, 1967
    Figure Number: 35
  • Flint Institute of Arts, The Art of Black Africa The Flint Institute of Arts. Flint, MI, 1970
    Figure Number: 143

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • Ladislas Segy, Masks of Black Africa (New York, New York: Dover Publications, 1976), Figure Number: 126.

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Drid Williams, "The Dance of the Bedu Moon." African Arts 2, no. 1 (Autumn 1968): 18-21, 72.
  • René A. Bravmann, "Gur and Manding Masquerades in Ghana." African Arts 13, no. 1 (November 1979): 44-51, 98.

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Bedu Mask |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=6/4/2023 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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