This is an Mblo mask from the Baule tribe in Ivory Coast. It represents a class of Baule masks that is one of the tribe's oldest art forms. This mask was crafted to represent a once well-known individual. The smooth surface and extensive scarification are indicative of Baule style. The scarifications are beauty adornment, common in ancient African societies and considered like tattoos as the highest form of beautification.
The extensive coiffure and lustrous, curving surface are suggestive of a beautiful, wealthy individual with a smooth and shiny skin. The horns atop the head are a common ornamental addition to Baule masks. They have no symbolic purpose and are added to accentuate the mask's beauty.
This mask is an entertainment mask and would have been used in skit and solo dance performances.
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