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Baule Portrait Mask Mblo Kpan Cote d'Ivoire African Art

Regular Price: $590.00

Special Price: $290.00

Product #: 75685
US Shipping: $49.98
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Title Baule Portrait Mask Mblo Kpan Cote d'Ivoire, Africa
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Cote d'Ivoire
People Baule
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age second half 20th century
Dimensions Mask: 14 inches H. x 8.5 inches W.; with stand: 21.5 inches H.
Overall Condition Good . Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair cracks in the back in head, chips in places . HEAVY STAND! Ask for Shipping without Base.


Additional Information : A massive and elaborately carved mask with fine details and darkened brown patina and evidence of use. 


This  well used and classic mask recalls the artistry of the Baule carvers of the past. The refined and well-carved hairstyle may be similar to the person for whom the mask was originally carved to represent. The hair is not only carved in great detail but beautifully balanced through surface incising of the lines of hair and of the larger crest, balanced on either side by a well shaped knob of hair. The reserved and enigmatic facial expression, the acute attention to detail and the high quality of carving all indicate that this is an important example of Baule Art and a major addition to any collection whether specializing in the art of the Baule or a new collector simply taken by this finely carved mask.


This mask from the Baule people of the Ivory Coast  falls into a special grouping known as ‘portrait masks’, Kpan or Mblo. They 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 was threaded through the holes at the back of the mask. 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.  


For more information see "ART OF AFRICA" by Kerchache et al, and Vogel's "BAULE."


I have examined this piece and agree with the description
Niangi Batulukisi, PhD.