African art > African mask > Baule Mask
Large Mask Baoulé Kpan (N° 17291)
This distinctive face of African Masks Baoulé called portraits masks, here a mask 'senior' named Kpan , presents on the space formed by the forehead and temples the signs ngole of the scarifications of the ethnic group, the eyelids highlighted with kaolin, the lips rounded. The careful arrangement of the braids forms round shells. Carved from particularly dense wood, this piece of tribal art has a discreetly satiny brown patina. 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, etc. and appears in a certain order.
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Appelés also Gbagba, they 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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