African art > African mask > Baule Mask
Baoule Bonu amwin Mask (N° 17980)
The African art of the Baoulé, an Akan group established in the south-east of Côte d'Ivoire, features a wide range of masks renowned for their quality, finesse and symmetry. On the one hand, these African masks transposing the main features of the face of a very beautiful girl or a remarkable man, 'masks-portraits', which were exhibited at particularly theatrical events where women played a great role, on the other the masks of conjuring, and initiation, intervening during ceremonies that were forbidden to them. Sacred masks, they could put their lives at risk, or at most their fertility.
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This mask made of dense wood, offers a large jaw revealing fangs, evoking the leopard. At the top, a figure of the animal, in miniature, is carved in round-bump. It was originally worn only by warriors, but it now has an apotropaic role for the villages.
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