African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Moon mask
Baule/Yaure mask (N° 20154)
Appearing today at celebrations associated with the Gbagba dance, this African mask integrates the set of masks associated with natural phenomena, such as the setting sun, the rainbow and the moon, and "warms up" the scene before the appearance of more important masks.
This circular mask with a thin decorative border shows a serene face with a delicately carved three-lobed headdress. The forehead, the seat of intelligence and wisdom, is highlighted. The half-closed eyes, where kaolin remains, accentuate the concentration of the physiognomy.
Smooth patina, satin, dark brown with residual ochre incrustations. Cracks of desiccation.
The African art of the Baule, an Akan group established in the southeast of the Ivory Coast, includes 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 beautiful young girl or a remarkable man, "portrait masks", which were exhibited during particularly theatrical events where women played an important role, and on the other hand, masks of conjuration and initiation, which were used during ceremonies that were forbidden to them. Sacred masks, they could put their life in danger, or at the most their fertility.
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