Baule Goli Kplekple Mask Côte d'Ivoire 44 inch
Masks correspond to several types of dances: the gba gba, the bonu amamen the mblo and the goli. They never represent the ancestors and are
always worn by men. The gba gba is used at the funerals of women during the harvest season. It celebrates beauty and age, hence its refined
features. The double mask represents the marriage of the sun and the moon or twins, whose birth is always a good sign. The bonu amuen protects
the village from external threats; it obliges the woman to a certain discipline; and it appears at the commemorations of the death of notables. When they
intervene in the life of the community, they take the shape of a wooden helmet that represents a buffalo or antelope and which is worn with a raffia
costume and metal ankle bracelets; the muzzle has teeth, which incarnate the fierce animal that is to defend the group.
Goli is the day-long spectacle that normally involves the whole village and includes the appearance of four pairs of masks, music played on special
instruments, and, ideally, the jojoyous consumption of a great deal of palm wine. Goli can be performed both as entertainment and for the funeral
of important men. The very characteristic, round-shaped ‚Äúlunar‚Äù goli is surmounted by two horns. It was borrowed from the Wan for a celebration
adopted by the Baule after 1900. Celebrating peace and joy, they would sing, dance, and drink palm wine. In the procession, the goli preceded the
four groups of dancers, representing young adolescents. The goli would be used on the occasion of the new harvest, the visit of dignitaries, or at the
funerals of notables.
The goli kplekple mask is one of several that appear in the Goli spirit dance. It represents a minor spirIt associated with the junior rank of male
dancers who perform before the more important masks appear. In keeping with its low status, this mask is made in a simple disk-shaped design and
lacks the more complex form and ornamentation that the Baule admire in their important masks. Considered a mischievous mask, the youthful dancer
playfully chases young women around the village, goaded by their songs.