provenance: Marceau Rivière, a famous Parisian collector who exchanged it with Alphadjo Zagamor who sold it to me.
The inspiration for the art of the carver amongst the Baule came from the Senufo and the Guro. Originally from Ghana, the Baule have a courtly culture which taught them a certain degree of sophistication and delicacy. The care with which they exhausted their works was derived from the art of the goldsmiths in their ancient homeland.
The Baoule ethnic group currently lives in central and eastern Côte d'Ivoire. The Baoule arrived from Ghana in the early eighteenth century.
The combination of their old skills with new knowledge has resulted in a technically superior art, and balanced aesthetics.
The soft used patina, indicates that the search for beauty is a main feature of Baoule art.
This beautiful mask is a Ndoma portrait mask . According to Boyer (2008), this type of mask does not seek to resemble every feature in their model. These are idealized portraits, expressing the physical and moral canons of beauty unique to the Baoulé. The model portrayed is a real person living in the same village, a beautiful wife, or a former fighter. Making a mask bearing his image serves to honor his social rank, and take over its beauty or its ability to hunt.
A beautiful dark shiny patina and oxidized wood, time and use have enhanced it brightness.
Estimated age: 1940's
Height 34 cm.
H= 43cm, on the custom made bronze stand.