African art > Mask > Baoulé Mask
Baulé Portrait Mask / Yaoure (N° 15060)
Smeared with a locally scaled granular patina, this ndoma mask sculpted in dense wood stands out thanks to its high braided hairstyle arranged in shells and its collar adorned with polychrome diamonds. 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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