African art > African mask > Baoule Mask
Moon Mask Baule Gbagba (N° 17464)
In the category of African masks associated with natural phenomena such as the setting sun, the rainbow and the moon, this mask here in colorful version still appears during celebrations associated with the Gbagba dance. Its wearer is supposed to 'warm up' scene before the appearance of larger masks. With a large decorative frieze in a dented halo, it adopts a forehead, seat of intelligence and wisdom, crossed by a median scarification in relief. Bright polychrome, smooth patina.
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The African art of the Baoulé, an Akan group based in the south-east of Côte d'Ivoire, features a wide range of masks renowned for the sophistication of their decoration. On the one hand, these African masks transposing the main features of the face of a very beautiful girl or a remarkable man, 'masks-portraits', which were exhibited at particularly theatrical events where women played a great role, on the other the masks of conjuring, and initiation, intervening during ceremonies that were forbidden to them. Sacred masks, they could put their lives at risk, or at most their fertility.
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