African Baule Tribe Ram Mask, Côte D'Ivoire

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A striking African Baule Tribe mask in the form of a ram. 

The Baule are an Akan group, speaking a Tano language of the Kwa branch of the Niger-Congo language family and inhabit the Côte D'Ivoire between the Comoé and Bandama rivers.

The ancestors of the Baule were a section of the Asante who immigrated to their present location under the leadership of Queen Awura Pokou about AD 1750, following a dispute over the chieftaincy, and assimilated many of the indigenous peoples. After 1790 quarrels between important families destroyed the unity of the Baule, though they continued to rule much of Côte d’Ivoire until the end of the 19th century.

The foundation of Baule social and political institutions is the matrilineage; each lineage has ceremonial stools that embody ancestral spirits. Paternal descent is recognized, however, and certain spiritual and personal qualities are believed to be inherited through it. A headman and a council of elders representing the lineages handle village affairs.

The Baule are noted for their fine wooden sculpture, particularly for their ritual statuettes representing ghosts or spirits; these, as well as carved ceremonial masks, were originally associated with the ancestor cult but are increasingly produced for commercial purposes.

This baule mask depicts a ram, beautifully carved with intricate curved twisted horns, two ears, delicately painted eyes and a long tongue.

The patina of the paint and wood throughout is exceptional and the proportions are superb for hanging on display.

A great looking decorative piece.  

Dimensions (approx - in hanging position)

Height: 38cm

Width: 21cm

Depth: 16cm

Weight: 1 kilogram



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