This mask was created in the style of the Baule or Attie peoples of Ivory Coast. The mask portrays a female face with kaolin accents throughout the face and coiffure. The mask measures 17 inches tall, 18 inches including custom stand, and weighs 3.5 pounds. There is a chunk missing from the side of the mask and minor cracking, scuffing and general wear and tear throughout – please inspect photos.
Baule or Attie Face Mask 17″ on Stand – Ivory Coast – African Art
1 in stock
|Type of Object||
|Country of Origin||
Attie Attye, Baule
17" mask | 18" including stand
Some cracking, scuffing and general wear and tear throughout.
About the Attie People
“The eastern coast of the Ivory Coast comprises an area of lagoons, where the population is divided into twelve different language groups The cultural and stylistic unity of these people justifies grouping the, together for the purposes of this chapter. Before colonization, each village was autonomous and, when threatened, they united to form a ‘confederation’. Unusually, these people are not governed by chiefs, although a man’s social position is determined by his age.”
Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.
About the Baule People
The Baule are originally part of a breakaway group of the Akan people from Ghana. In the 17th century, Queen Abla Pokou led a group on an exodus away from the main Ashanti Confederacy after a war broke out due to disagreements among the factions. Pokou realized that she and her followers may be in harms way, so she took her people and headed westward. Legend says the group came upon the Comoé River, with its dangerous waters and needed a way to safely cross. With the enemy gaining on them, Queen Pokou asked a diviner for advice. The diviner, after much thought, told her the gods required a sacrifice. Everyone began throwing their most prized possessions into the river; gold, ivory, cattle, everything they owned, hoping to appease the gods. The diviner shook his head and said that our sons are our most prized possessions. Pokou, knowing that her duty as queen was more important than that of a mother, decided then to sacrifice her only son, throwing him into the water and calling out “Ba ouli”, translated to “the child is dead”, giving them the name Baule. After the sacrifice was made, hippopotamuses came up from the river and formed a bridge allowing the queen and her people to cross.
The Baule settled in what is now known as Côte d’Ivoire or Ivory Coast. They began defeating current inhabitants of the area and quickly became the middle man post for North and South trading routes. Towns and villages sprouted up with each being independent from one another, making their own decisions with the primacy of a council of elders. Smaller communities were usually governed by a village-chief whereas large villages were ruled by a king or queen. Considered an egalitarian society, everyone is equal and has a say in the overall agenda of the people, including slaves...
Read more about the Baule here.