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Mace and Helen Katz Neufeld Collection

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Image of Biiga (Child in Wood)

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Bookmark: http://triarte.brynmawr.edu/objects-1/info/145831



unknown Mossi
Primary



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)

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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mossi
  • 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

Exhibition List
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

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


Bibliography List
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Important Tribal Art Sotheby's . New York, NY, 1989
    Figure Number: 50

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • Esther A. Dagan, African Dolls for Play and Magic (Montreal, Canada: Galérie Amrad African Arts, 1990), 45.
  • Christopher D. Roy, "Mossi Dolls." African Arts 14, no. 4 (August 1981): 51, Figure Number: 9.
  • Jean- Baptiste Bacquart, The Tribal Arts of Africa (New York, NY: Thames & Hudson, 1998), 68-69. Figure Number: 15
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): AHDRC.eu. Record No.: 0006503.
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): AHDRC.eu. Record No.: 0006501.
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): AHDRC.eu. Record No.: 0006527.

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Esther A. Dagan, African Dolls for Play and Magic (Montreal, Canada: Galérie Amrad African Arts, 1990),
  • 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 Dolls." African Arts 14, no. 4 (August 1981): 47-51, 88.
  • Jean- Baptiste Bacquart, The Tribal Arts of Africa (New York, NY: Thames & Hudson, 1998), 68-69.
  • 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/.

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=http://triarte.brynmawr.edu/objects-1/info/145831 |title=Biiga (Child in Wood) |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=6/29/2022 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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