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This information was automatically generated from data provided by MOA: University of British Columbia. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.


Mask with a bird head and vertical rectangular superstructure. The bird has two large concentric circle eyes, a raised red ridge, and a long curved beak. Both the head and the beak are painted with black and white repeating triangle designs in various sizes. Long brown plant fibre hair is attached across the back of the face mask, and hangs down. The superstructure consists of two rectangular panels, attached with some openwork. The panels are surmounted by a large crescent with smaller diamond.

History Of Use

The Nunuma, Lèle, Waniama and Nuna, who are referred to collectively by the Mossi as Gurunsi, have exerted a strong influence on Mossi and Bwa mask styles. Gurunsi masks, representing powerful bush spirits who safeguard families, clans and communities, are individually owned and on death pass to eldest sons or are retired to spirit houses. The masks were used in initiations, funerals and, more recently, popular entertainment.

Item History

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