Baule African Tribal Mask

Baule Calao MaskBaule mask from Ivory Coast
Baule Calao Mask
Baule Calao Mask reverse view
Baule Calao Mask from side view

Baule African mask mask with Hornbill perched on head
Sales price £295.00


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This Baule trbal mask is from the tradition known as "Mblo". Masks of this kind are often used in solo dances to depict prominent member of the community. It is a portrait mask and represent one of the most refined form of masking tradition. Thishighly decorative Baule dance mask from Ivory Coast is hand-carved from wood with a rich glossy patina. A Hornbill bird; known as "Calao", is perched on top the the mask. The Baule are part of the Akan people of Côte D'ivoire, also famous for the Goli mask.

Baule masks have been exhibited in the west since as early as the first decade of the 20th century. SImilar masks inspired the modernist art movement. With a rich enamel patina, this mask would make a good addition to your tribal art collection. With it’s serene features and glossy finish it’s sure to create a focal point for your African Art wall. Perfect as an item of African themed home decor or as a talking point hung on the wall of your living room.

Typically farmers, the Baule inhabit the East of Ivory Coast and parts of Ghana. They migrated there some three centuries ago during the ascent of the Asante kingdom.

The Baule People are famous for their masks; some of the most striking to be found in Africa. Masks are typically human or animal in form. The scarification on this type of masks denote initiation into adulthood. Masks represent a link to the spirit world, with the set of the eyes and mouth being particular to each Baule mask.

Baule culture is centralised, with a king or chief presiding over the population. Their religion is largely animist and includes worship of ancestors.

According to the folklore of West Africa- the legend of the Calao states that the Calao (or Hornbill bird) pecks at a man's forehead to impart knowledge and wisdom to him. It is for this reason that this African mask from the Baule, like the Kple Kple masks of the Senufo people of Cote D'Ivoire have a raised welts or nodules in the centre of the forehead marking where the Calao has pecked them.

Each mask we offer for sale is unique. We do not have more than one of each design. When it’s gone its gone!