This wood mask is a one of a kind mask, hand carved by the artists of West Africa.
This is a Baule mask. It is in the Mblo class and it is purely a beauty mask. Every aspect of this mask from the finely carved wood to the lines of the carving was done to represent the Baule ideal of beauty.
The Baule art form is very refined and has influenced other clans around them. Their masks are pretty realistic and they are fond of adding objects to enhance the beauty of their Mblo mask. The superstructure in this mask is a comb. It has no iconographic significance except that it represents a decorative motif which in this case is the symbol that a comb affords a delicacy and attention to bodily care that can only add to beauty.
However, there are other markers of beautification in this mask. The scarification marks are one but so is the decorative band carved around the head and also the serrated pattern on the collar.
This Mblo mask would have been worn in skits and solo dances. Unlike other Baule masks, it is strictly for entertainment performances and would have depicted an actual individual alive when it was carved.
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I received the shipment in perfect condition and the packing was the best I have ever received! Impressive is an understatement. I am real happy with the Toma mask it exceeded my expectations. Thank you for the great service and follow up phone calls Tim. Its a pleasure to deal with professionals!!
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