Baule Mask


Artwork explanation

The art of Baule has a very significant and special place in African art. The elegance of the work of art has given it a special place. Among the masks, the masks of the ancestors (masks representing the calmness of the ancestors of the tribe and through them, the ancestors can communicate with the tribe and take care of them) are also found that have the same characteristics of the sculptures, elegant and precise, elegantly carved and completely polished.

The Baule live in the central Côte d’Ivoire. Their masks are definitely influenced by the art of their neighbors like Gouro and Senufo. Ancestors' masks are still available, but they no longer play a spiritual role in the ceremony, and are mostly used for entertainment during the dance. These masks represent a huge variety of hairdressing and scarification that exist in different areas. The masks (the carriers of them) wear garments with short sticks and they have metal fasteners around their ankle.

There are also Baule masks with animal designs that relate to the form of a wild cow (Buffalo) or Antelope. Only men are allowed to wear these masks. The animal masks which are a lot more conceptual are really different from those of a portrait of ancestors.

In the past, they were used at funerals to attract extra help, healing of illnesses and to remove cast. Baule believe in the inaccessible god which is called Nyamien.

For them, the real world is the opposite of the spiritual world and it is called Mblo from which the spirit comes after birth and to which it goes back after death. For Baule, religion is the basic instruction, recognition of death and immortality of the soul.

The ancestors are a part of a cult and they are not introduced. In the past, no kind of death was considered natural and they always searched for the reason and the one responsible for the death.

Wooden sculptures and masks have a close connection with the world of supernatural. Baule believe that every human being has one body and one soul.


Artwork Description

Used for the protection of the village against casts.


Exhibition history

CAMA Gallery | Cote dIvoires Peoples | Exhibition | Cote d Ivoire

Tehran Gallery

Cote d Ivoire

solo exhibition, 07 December - 27 December


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