|Title||Baule Portrait Mask Kpan Mblo Ivory Coast African Art|
|Type of Object||Portrait mask|
|Country of Origin||Cote D'Ivoire Ivory Coast|
|Approximate Age||20th Century|
|Dimensions||Height: 14 Inches
Width: 6.75 Inches
|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||scuffed and chipped patina, general wear; see pictures for details.|
Additional Information: Details on our mask suggests stylistic links to the Baule from Cote d'Ivoire. Traditional Baule elements are elaborate hairstyle, keloid scarification patternsin face, almond shaped eyes, long and finial nose, the small mouth, and the serene expression of the face.
This Baule mask falls into a special grouping known as ‘portrait masks’, Kpan Pre, Kpan Kpan.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 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.
See similar masks in Vogel's Baule- African Art Western eyes.
Recommended Reading: Vogel's BAULE-AFRICAN ART WESTERN EYES