African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Baoule mask

Baoule mask (N° 22258)

Carved in dense wood, this African Baoulé mask with an ovoid face offers regular features, highlighted by cross-shaped keloid scars, and heavy, oblique, lowered eyelids. The animal figure reminds us that some could metamorphose into animals at will. The dances that feature the Mblo masks are considered to be graceful and feminine, according to the Baoulé, and are associated with the village and women, although it is men who wear these masks. Irregular and satiny surface, nuanced patina from burgundy to dark brown, localized residues of beige color.

Mblo dance masks are part of one of the oldest Baoulé artistic traditions and frequently represent an idealized character whose aesthetic characteristics will be privileged. They occur during danced events accompanied by music and songs, celebrations, visits by personalities, staging various satirical scenarios. The Gbagba of the Baoulé personify graceful young girls or men whose courage or qualities of integrity are renowned. The new generations are gradually replacing these Mblo dances called Gbagba in some villages, retaining most of the old conventions, with the Kpan Kpan dance, whose masks raise problems societal or refer to political projects.

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OriginColl. française
Countrycôte d'ivoire
Height cm41
Width20 cm
Weight1.30 Kg
Socle inclusOptional

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