Mask - Wood - Mblo - BAOULE - Ivory Coast

Mask - Wood - Mblo - BAOULE - Ivory Coast
Circa 1940 - Good condition, used with some signs of wear

Mblo masks used in entertainment dances are one of the most ancient forms of Baule art. These masks are generally the portrait of a specific person. More than any other mask, the Mblo mask embodies the foundations of the Baule aesthetics and these seem to have always existed. The surfaces are smooth, curved, well-polished, highlighting the hairdo or scarifications.
It has a high forehead, symbolising intelligence, and the eyes are lowered in respect for the surrounding world.
Mblo is the name of a category of shows which use facial masks, in solo or in parody dances.
The course of the show is very structured and uses a “script”, including some with very famous names (Kpan Kpan, GbaGba...).
The script evolves and is regularly rewritten each two or three generations. Adapted from the book of S. Vogel, L'art Baoulé.

This mask condenses the refined art of the Baule.
Dense wood. Crusty black patina.

Lot details
Indigenous object name
Ethnic group/ culture
Region/ country
Ivory Coast
Circa 1940
Good condition, used with some signs of wear
Sold with stand
29×17×10 cm
486 g
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