Baule (Baoule, Bawule) Côte dIvoire
Goli ram mask. The Baule are agriculturists; yams are the staple, supplemented by fish and game; coffee and cocoa are major cash crops. Baule society was characterized by extreme individualism, great tolerance, a deep aversion toward rigid political structures, and a lack of age classes, initiation, circumcision, priests, and secret societies. The Baule use three major types of masks: a helmet in the shape of a buffalo head, masks related only to the Goli festival and the masks representing a human face with rounded, fairly realistic features. The present mask relates to the second type. According to the Baule mythology, the ram is a heavenly demon or a spirit of agriculture. These masks are used on the occasion of the new harvest, at the visit of dignitaries, or at the funerals of notables.
Size: H. 11½, W. 9, D. 6½