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Image of Buffalo Mask (Mblo)

Baule Peoples
African

Buffalo Mask (Mblo)

20th century

Object Type: Sculpture
Dimensions:
16 1/2 x 9 1/2 x 5 3/8 in. (41.91 x 24.13 x 13.65 cm)
Medium and Support: Wood and pigment
Accession Number: 2013.0017.0008

Credit Line: Gift of Dileep and Martha Mehta

Currently On View


The Baule’s primary mask association is Goli, which coordinates celebrations of the harvest and important civic occasions like the visits of dignitaries. Goli masks represent wild and domestic animals and various types of people such as slaves, prostitutes, and dandies. The masks dance solo in a series of skits about village life, with the most important masks appearing last. As in most African masquerades, cloth costumes and raffia skirts cloak the identity of the maskers. The overall shape of the mask, the stylization of the features, and the linear treatment of the eyes are all typical features of Baule masks.

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