A Baule Mblo dance-mask, Ivory Coast, of hollow oval form, a pointed ornament beneath a protruding stylized mouth with carved rows of teeth, an elongated, slender nose with prominent nostrils, coffee-bean eyes topped by arched striated eyebrows, hemispherical ears with an embedded triangle, scarification marks on the forehead, temples, cheeks, above the bridge of the nose and at the corners of the mouth, capped by striated, highly domed coiffure with an ornament on top, a carved zigzag line along the rim and the headdress, pierced through at the rim for attachment; brown surface, remnants of encrusted sacrification patina, traces of age and ritual use, incl. stand.
This excellent carved classical mask from the Baule people belongs to a special group known as portrait-masks and evokes the artistry of the Baule artists from the past. These portrait-masks are said to portray an honored person of the village or a personal ancestor who is celebrated during a ceremonial dance known as Mblo.
“It is an aesthetic performance in which this well-carved mask would be worn with a multicolored costume and danced in the most graceful manner by either the person it represents or a relative. The costume would have been attached to the mask by cords that were threaded through the holes in the mask. The Mblo dance reflects feminine virtues, including graceful movements and elegant dancing steps and celebrates her beauty. The semi-closed eyes and pursed mouth indicate propriety and respect indicate how a mature woman would act.”
Lit.: Susan M. Vogel (Hrsg.): Baule: African Art Western Eyes, p. 142f; Bernard de Grunne: Über den Baule-Stil und seine Meister. In: Eberhard Fischer/Lorenz Homberger: Afrikanische Meister. Kunst der Elfenbeinküste,Zurüch 2014, p. 81-106.
800 – 1.000,- Euro
Height: 44 cm
Weight: 1,70 kg