Vintage Baule Mask
Portrait Face Mask (Mblo)
Measures: 17h x 5w x 6d inches
"In Baule communities, mblo performances feature masked dancers who impersonate familiar subjects, ranging from animals to human caricatures. Mblo dances culminate in a performance that pays tribute to the community’s most admired member. The honored individual is referenced by a mask conceived as his or her artistic "double" or "namesake.
While such works may depict either men or women, they were often commissioned by a man to honor a female relative or created by a carver in homage to a particular woman's dance skills and beauty. Because of their importance, only the best dancers are eligible to wear portrait masks in performance. On such occasions it is required that the portrait's subject, or "double," be present to accompany it."
~Metropolitan Museum of Art
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