African art > Mask > Baule Mask
Large Baoule Ndoma Mask (N° 17073)
Discreet traditional scarifications adorn the sculpted face of this voluminous African mask of the Baoulé. A zoomorphic figure overcomes the hairstyle of braids gathered in hull. The enlarged ears, a thin border engraved with two-coloured diamonds, form one of the stylistic conventions of portrait masks. Mate patina and kaolin remnants.
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These portraits 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 themselves at the end of the entertainment dance ceremonies. 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. They perform during danced events accompanied by music and songs, celebrations, visits of personalities, staging various satirical scenarios. The Gbagba baoulé personify graceful young girls or men whose valour or qualities of integrity 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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