Portrait Mask (mblo)

Portrait Mask (mblo)

early-mid 1900s

Wood and paint

Overall: 41.2 cm (16 1/4 in.)

Gift of Katherine C. White 1974.203


Male and female mblo masks, highly valued by the Baule people, are used in a variety of entertainment dances. Wearing elaborate coiffures and delicate facial scars, they are seen as portraits of known individuals. Their idealized rendering embodies core traits of Baule aesthetics, including lustrous skin, a high forehead, and downcast eyes, signs of good health, intelligence, and admiration, respectively.

See also
African Art
African Art
Type of artwork: 

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