Baule Ram Mask Gbagba White Cote d'Ivoire
The Baule people of Cote d'Ivoire are renowned for their artistry, notably their serene human face carvings and prized zoomorphic creations like the ram masks, revealing their skill and aesthetic brilliance. Gbagba performances entertain while offering social commentary, accompanied by horned masks representing hunted wild animals. Carved from a single wood piece and worn atop the head, these masks are adorned with renewed colors for each performance. Zoomorphic masks, such as the revered ram mask, symbolize bush or agricultural spirits, embodying characters and qualities akin to humans during village festivals. The ram mask, with its powerful spiral horns, signifies masculine strength and vigor. The Baule, part of the Akan peoples, migrated from Ghana in the 18th century, escaping Asante dominance, led by their queen Aura Poku, who sacrificed her son to ensure their safe exodus. Today, the Baule are revered for their political acumen and artistic talents, creating some of West Africa's most exquisite objects.
Approximate Age: Late 20th Century
Made In: Africa