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Large Baule Mask 38″ with Stand – Ivory Coast – African Art

$212.50

1 in stock

SKU: 1007106 Categories: , ,
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This mask was created in the style of the Baule peoples of Ivory Coast. The mask is very large, measuring 33 inches tall (38 inches when on the custom stand). She has a crown of upright bird figures on top of her head. There is minor cracking, scuffing and general wear and tear throughout – please inspect photos.

Type of Object

Face Mask

Country of Origin

Ivory Coast

Ethnicity

Baule

Material

Wood, Pigment

Approximate Age

Unknown

Height (Inches)

33" mask | 38" including stand

Width (Inches)

9"

Depth (Inches)

9"

Weight (Pounds)

13 lbs mask | 20.5 lbs including stand

Overall Condition

Some cracking, scuffing and general wear and tear throughout.

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Tribe Information

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.

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