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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Baule Masks : Baule Ivory Mask with Cloth Veil
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Baule Ivory Mask with Cloth Veil - PF.5411
Origin: Central Ivory Coast
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 19" (48.3cm) high x 5.25" (13.3cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Ivory

Location: United States
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Two long, slightly curved horns project from both sides of the forehead, which is convex and protruding beyond the facial plane. The straight sides of the face curve to a pointed chin, with small puckered lips having an incised horizontal line to show it is open, as if whispering. The narrow eye slits are overhung by the eyelids, like protective awnings, while the arching eyebrows are decorated with short vertical notches suggesting hair. Further ornamentation, perhaps indicating scarification, is seen in the three semi-circles on the forehead composed of plain incising and rows of connecting semi-circles. The cloth cover or “veil” is white with broad blue stripes. Baule masks are used in three types of dances: the gba gba (funerals of women), the bonu amuen (for protection of the village), and the goli (celebrating peace). This beautiful mask probably belongs to the goli category, since such masks are lunar in shape and have horns. They are worn by men in a dance of joy, accompanied by singing and great festivities. - (PF.5411)


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