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Baule Portrait Mask Beard Kpan or Mblo Ivory Coast Africa

Regular Price: $990.00

Special Price: $440.00

Product #: 96153
US Shipping: $29.98
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Title Baule Portrait Mask Beard Kpan or Mblo Ivory Coast Africa
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Cote d'Ivoire
People Baule
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 18.5 inches. Width: 7. 5 inches. Depth: 5.5 inches.
Overall Condition Poor. 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 Large chunk missing from bottom, cracks, scratches, worn patina

 Additional Information: 

A well carved mask with a refined hairstyle and a serene face. The hair is represented by three breads decorated with finial incised patterns. The semi-closed eyes and pursed mouth indicate propriety and respect in keeping the eyes downcast and a sense of reserve that a mature woman will cultivate. 
This mask  falls into a special grouping known as portrait masks. These portrait masks are said to portray an honored person of the village or a personal ancestor 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 broad collar of the mask by cords that were threaded through the holes at the back of the mask. The Mblo 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. They also dance to celebrate the ancestor or the person represented by the mask. This well used, and classic mask recalls the artistry of the Baule artists of the past. The refined and well-carved face may be similar to the person for whom the mask was originally carved to represent.


Recommended Reading:

ART OF AFRICA by Kerchache et al, and Susan Vogel, BAULE. AFRICAN ART WESTERN EYES