BAULE MASK 123, Ivory Coast

Photographs © Tim Hamill

 BAULE
Mask 123
12" high x 5.5" wide x 3.5" deep
$500

The Baule are one of the Akan peoples. They moved west to the Ivory Coast more than 200 years ago and adpted masking traditions from their neighbors, the Guro, Senufo and Yaure peoples. There are three basic types used in a special dance of rejoicing called Goli, symbolizing the social order. This mask is either a Kpan, (with elaborate coiffures and refined carving; they represent the Senior female in Goli ceremonies) or a Ndoma (an idealized portrait mask used at the close of ceremonies.)

Although elegantly carved, this Baule mask shows no evidence of age or use and was probably made to be sold. The mask includes the remnants of  a bite bar and a band of rubber to hold the mask on the wearer's head.

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