Biiga (Child in Wood)Late 19th century - Mid 20th century
Carved and incised wood with beads and string
9 1/4 in. x 2 1/2 in. x 2 13/16 in. (23.5 cm x 6.35 cm x 7.11 cm)
Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.6.19
Other Number(s): P4 (Plass Number)
Geography: Africa, Burkina Faso, Volta River Basin (Upper Volta)
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Ritual Objects
Culture/Nationality: Kaya, North Eastern Mossi, Burkinabe, West African, African
Collection: Plass Collection
This object has the following keywords:
African*, akua'mma*, beads*, Burkina Faso*, carving*, carvings*, female*, fertility*, Mossi, patina*, ritual objects*, West African*, wood*
- African - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Africa, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
- akua'mma - Fertility figures, usually female, of abstracted form, with disk-like heads with high oval foreheads and most often having horizontal arms, cylindrical torso, breasts, and navel; among Asante of West Africa believed to ensure conception and successful birth.
- beads - Refers to small objects, of any shape or material, pierced so that they may be strung or hung or attached, as by sewing.
- Burkina Faso - Style and culture of the people of Burkina Faso.
- carving - The act of shaping, marking, or decorating wood, stone, or another material by cutting or incising, typically using tools such as chisels and other blades. It refers to this process as it is applied to small-scale objects or to objects that are not considered art. "Carving" may also be considered a sculpture technique that is employed in the creation of art.
- carvings - Refers to works executed by cutting a figure or design out of a solid material such as stone or wood. It typically refers to works that are relatively small in size, are part of a larger work, or are not considered art. For large and medium-sized three-dimensional works of art, use the broader term "sculpture" or another appropriate term.
- female - Referring to the sex that normally produces eggs or female germ cells.
- fertility - The quality of being fertile, that is, bearing or producing in abundance; the state of being fruitful or prolific.
- patina - An aged appearance caused by environmental factors, acquired naturally or artificially induced; used especially with regard to a surface layer on metal caused by oxidation or corrosion.
- 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.
This object was included in the following exhibitions:
- Backtalk: Exposures, Erasures, and Elisions of the Bryn Mawr College African Art Collection Bryn Mawr College , Feb 5, 2015 – Jun 1, 2015
- African Images, Western Imageries: Collecting and Recollecting African Bryn Mawr College , Sep 26, 1999 – Jun 15, 2000
- African Art from the Collection of Margaret Feurer Plass '17 Bryn Mawr College , May 19, 1990 – Oct 1, 1992
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
Frisk & Borodin Appraisers,
Inventory and Appraisement Belonging to the Estate of Margaret Barton Plass, Deceased. 7 March 1990
Bryn Mawr College Special Collections.
Bryn Mawr, PA, 1990
Page Number: 1, Figure Number: 4
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
- Christopher D. Roy, "Mossi Dolls." African Arts 14, no. 4 (August 1981): 47, 49, 51.
- Esther A. Dagan, African Dolls for Play and Magic (Montreal, Canada: Galérie Amrad African Arts, 1990), 46-48. Figure Number: 4.4
- "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): AHDRC.eu. Record No.: 0006574.
- "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): AHDRC.eu. Record No.: 0006572.
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
- Christopher D. Roy, "Mossi Dolls." African Arts 14, no. 4 (August 1981): 47-88.
- Esther A. Dagan, African Dolls for Play and Magic (Montreal, Canada: Galérie Amrad African Arts, 1990), 44-49.
- Monica Blackmun Visona and Robin Poynor. A History of Art in Africa (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc., 2001), 159-160. Figure Number: 5-40
- Christopher D. Roy, Mossi (Milan: 5 Continents Editions, 2015), 57-62, 119. Figure Number: 19, Plates 44-46
- "ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA." (Accessed May 10, 2020): Imodara.com. https://www.imodara.com/magazine/african-child-figures-are-not-dolls/.
This object is a member of the following portfolios:
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