Baule Ndoma Portrait Mask

c. 1950
$1,980 USD
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Dimensions
W: 5.5" D: 7.25" H: 20.25"
Materials
Pigment
Wood
Purchase Quantity
Collection #
CAA1336
Estimated Shipping
$200

To relieve stress and uplift their community, the Baule people of modern-day Côte d'Ivoire engage in a daylong masquerade known as the Mblo. A series of dances that escalate in complexity and intensity, the Mblo ends by honoring a distinguished member of the community with a mask carved in their likeness. Known as Ndoma, or "namesake" masks, such masks are considered artistic doubles of the person represented.

This female portrait mask recreates traditional Ndoma mask forms, finely carved to celebrate a revered female elder with an oval face, small features, and elaborate hairstyle. Carved from light wood that was then blackened, this refined mask is an excellent example of Baule artistry and expresses their cultural ideals of feminine beauty.

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