Embodying a "being-force" or amwin, this sculpture could evoke a hyena, whose threatening mouth, provided with fangs, is of the same type as those of the statues of monkeys and the conjuration masks of the Baule. The patina, old, is made up of granular heaps, scattered, resulting from numerous ritual libations.
The African art of the Baule, an Akan group established in the southeast of the Ivory Coast, includes a vast 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 beautiful young girl or a remarkable man, "portrait masks", which were exhibited during particularly theatrical events in which 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 lives in danger, or at most their fertility. The animal mask of the Baule bonu amwin evokes a similar mask among the Senoufo named waniugo .
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