The most famous and recognised art style of Africa is their mask making,creation and symbolic meaning behind them. African masks are usually created to express religious ideas and meanings. Since indigenous African religions are animistic, the masks usually display symbols from nature. There has been a great history in Africa of religious ceremonial dances related to the growing of the crops, celebration of births, deaths, and important tribal festives to honour the animal spirts for protection and blessing ultimately creating control and peace throughout the tribes,which is mentally rewarding for the Nuna peoples.
The Buffalo mask (made by the ‘Nuna tribe’ in Sothern Burkina Faso-Africa) -is symbolic and spiritual to those of the Nuna tribe, and is now situated in the Hampton University museum. The Buffalo Mask follows a very general stylistic pattern. It has round protruding eyes which are surrounded by an array of circles and a short triangular shaped snout slightly below. Decorative geometric patterns cover the whole surface of the mask. The Buffalo created from wood and pigment has two large ears curving until an almost perfect circle is met. Various carvings engraved have revealed deep ridges into the mask which add great effect and pronounce the buffalos features to a further point. The mask is made of wood and various shades of pigment including cream and light chocolate brown which surround the eyes, snout and top of the semi circled ears.
The artist has used a carving technique to make engravements and shapes into the surface of the mask. The triangular snout of the buffalo is hollowed, which has most probably been carved out to create this 3-D shape. The Nuna tribe have used dark and light shades of earthy pigment tones which allows its features to stand out.
As quoted by faces of the spirits website ;“The Buffalo threatens and protects” .This mask was obviously made to honour the powerful animal spirits living in the world around the Nuna Tribe....