200929 - African Rare & Old Tribal Used Baule mask - Iv. Coast.


Iv. Coast: Rare and Old Tribal used African Baule mask.
Height: 31 cm.

This mask likely comes from either the Baule or the Yaure people of the Ivory Coast and probably falls into a special grouping known as ‘portrait masks’. These masks are said to portray an honored person of the village who is celebrated during a ceremonial dance known as “Mblo”. It is an aesthetic performance in which this beautifully carved mask would be worn with a multicolored costume and danced in the most graceful manner by either the person it represents or a relative. The costume would have been attached to the mask by cords that were threaded through the holes in the back of the mask.
The Baule portrait masks dance reflects feminine virtues including graceful movements and elegant dancing steps and celebrates her beauty. These masks are danced to entertain during days that the Baule do not work and they will also appear to honor important visitors to the village. This classic mask recalls the artistry of the Baule artists of the past. The refined and finally carved face may be similar to the person for whom the mask was originally carved to represent.