African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Baoule mask
Baule ram mask (N° 20132)
Zoomorphic African mask of the Baule, whose sculpted, twisted horns symbolize aggressiveness and destructive power.
Sacrificial victim in view of offerings and metaphor of pugnacity, the Baule mask-ram is an allegory of strength.
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This mask appeared in the company of human masks during various ceremonies, including funerals or nowadays during visits by distinguished guests. Two-tone patina with a slight satin finish.
According to Baule mythology, a royal ancestor had to sacrifice his son to cross a river. This event is the origin of the name of the Baoulé, Bauli, "the son died". They represent the major part of the population of Côte d'Ivoire. In Côte d'Ivoire, the most ordinary objects had to meet aesthetic criteria. Furniture, ornaments, utensils, fabrics, are pretext for a refined artistic expression on the part of the sculptors. The latter, mainly farmers, carry out this activity in addition. Some of them also produce pieces for neighboring ethnic groups. The creative talent remains however linked to the occult power of the craftsman, the ritual requirements surrounding the work of wood.
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