Koulango mask (Three quarters view)
Three quarters viewVideoMaps

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Item : Koulango mask, Picture : Three quarters view (approx. 22 Kbytes)


This mask, exceptional and very rare, represents a deceased soul, and was worn by the men of the secret society kiemvé during funerary rituals of its members. At the time of these ceremonies, the mask, then inert and secular, became the attribute of a dressed up dancer which gave it life and word. Because this is only through the movement, and through the dancer more particularly, that the mask finds its effectiveness.
The headdress depicts a hornbill (yangaleya), a sacred bird associated with growth and fertility in many communities, and also with the protection of the deceased souls. This representation is carried out with great care, drawing attention to the details, through the sensitivity and the sensuality of the forms. This moving mask can be considered as one of the rare masterpieces of the Koulango art.
Probably 19th century or earlier.

Object #2975

Origin :

Ivory Coast (Bondoukou area)

Type :

Masks and headdresses

Ethnic group :

Kulango (or Ligbi)

Material :

Patinated wood from age-old use, ancient kaolin traces around the eyes

Size :

H = 12.2 inches

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