Requires Photography


African, Burkina Faso
20th century
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Burkina Faso


Length x width: 9 x 24 cm (3 9/16 x 9 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, rope, paint

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments


Sound devices

The Mossi, Bwa, and Lobi peoples of Burkina Faso use whistle and flute instruments during masked performances. Generally played in groups by young male initiates, flutes accompany dancers during important communal masquerades such as the yearly village purification ritual and mask consecrations. This anthropomorphic flute may be of Bwa origin.


1981, sold by Rouaix, Paris, to Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart