Lot: 27

Antelope headdress "adoné" / "numtiri"

Burkina Faso, Kurumba

Provenance Size Hammer price
Munich Private Collection H: 45.5 inch 2100 EUR

wood, pigments, cowries, animal skin, cracks (one filled with mass), base

This headdress has a particularly elegant design with its reduced and elongated shapes. Particularly striking is the pointillist painting, which appears more frequently and is interpreted in many different ways.

Antelope headdresses known as "adoné" are primarily attributed to the northernmost Kurumba region of Burkina Faso, which encompasses the towns of Toulfe, Djibo, and Aribinda.

The mask represents a heroic antelope that played an important role in the founding myths of the clan when it saved the life of the tribal elder. It is the totem animal of most Kurumba tribes and has a protective function.

"Adone" were used during major events associated with funerary rites and commemoration of the ancestors. They were worn on the head, with the dancer concealed under lush grass fibre hangings.

The appearance of "adone" generally accompanied three major annual events. They represented clan ancestors when the bodies of male and female elders were led to burial; they served as tributes to those deceased elders at commemorative celebrations organized during the dry season; and they were celebratory emblems at collective sacrifices, held just before the first rains in late May and June, which paid homage to the spirits of the ancestors and to the protective antelope.


Kecskési, Maria, Kunst aus Afrika, München, London, New York 1999, p. 174, ill. 167 LaGamma, Alisa, Genesis, New York 2002, p. 65 f.