Mossi Doll

Africa | Burkina Faso

Mossi Doll

Burkina Faso

Biga fertility doll

Carved wood
Early 20th century
Height: 11 ¾ in. (30 cm)

Ex collection Thomas G. B. Wheelock (1941-2016), New York
Ex private collection, New York

Mossi Biga doll 30 cm ex T Wheelock/ Galerie Flak Price on request
This fertility doll is a "Biga" figure from the Mossi people of Burkina Faso. As stated by the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, wood dolls in the form of stylized female figures are carved by Mossi blacksmiths. Parents give them to their daughters, who use them as playthings and to learn child care skills. Later the figures may play a role in initiation and childbirth. If a woman is having trouble conceiving she may commission a new, larger version of her childhood doll.

Regarding the provenance, Thomas GB Wheelock was a celebrated author and collector of African art specialized in Burkina Faso.
He was notably the Deputy Director of The Center for African Art in New York from 1984-1989 and author of reference books including "Art From Upper Volta", Colorado State University, 1975, "Land of the Flying Masks: Art and Culture in Burkina Faso" with Christopher Roy in 1987.
Explore the entire collection
Africa
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Gabon
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Burkina Faso
Africa | Ghana
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Cameroon
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Ivory Coast
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Mali
Africa | Burkina Faso
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Mali
Africa | Mali
Africa | Ivory Coast
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Ivory Coast
Africa | Burkina Faso
Africa | Mali
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Mali
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Burkina Faso
Africa | Cameroon
Africa | Mali
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Mali
Africa | Mali
Africa | Mali
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Ghana
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Guinea
Africa | Burkina Faso
Africa | Cross River, Nigeria
Africa | Burkina Faso
Africa | Cameroon
Africa | Gabon
Africa | Burkina Faso
Africa | Northern Liberia
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Mali
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Burkina Faso
Africa | Angola
Africa | Mali
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Ghana
Africa | South Africa
Africa | Nigeria
Discover our collections
CoLLECTIoNS
Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter