African art > Mask > Baule Mask
Baoulé Mask, Yaouré (N° 14869)
An African mask of entertainment that can be seen by women, this heavy piece of African art has a dark patina. The headdress is made up of four elegant braided shells. The face is delicately highlighted with traditional scarifications called "ngole". These portrait masks of the Baoulé, ndoma , which are part of one of the oldest Baoulé artistic traditions and frequently represent an idealized character, have the peculiarity of manifesting itself at the end of the ceremonies of entertainment dances. The latter are named, depending on the regions, bedwo, ngblo, mblo, adjussu, etc. Each of these masks are distinguished by the hairstyles, the location and the choice of scarifications, etc. Also called Gbagba , they personify graceful young girls or men whose valour or integrity qualities are reputed. The new generations are gradually replacing these dances Mblo called Gbagba in some villages, retaining most of the old conventions, with the dance Kpan Kpan , whose masks raise societal problems or refer to political projects.
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