The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 2, 2024

Ram Mask (Bolo)

Ram Mask (Bolo)

possibly early 1900s

Did You Know?

The mask was vividly painted while in use. Look closely at its surface to see traces of blue, red, and white paint.


Bolo masks are primarily danced for entertainment during communal occasions like funerals, male initiations, and harvest celebrations. Comprising both animal and human features, the mask––always worn by a male dancer––refers to the cultural significance of the ram, an animal associated with male aggression across sub-Saharan Africa.
  • ?–1962
    Jeanne Raguin, Golfe-Juan, France, sold to René and Odette Delenne
    René [1901-1998] and Odette Delenne [1925-2012], Brussels, Belgium, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Maesen, Alebert, et al. Art d’Afrique dans les collections belges, cat. 21. Exh. Cat. Tervuren: Royal Museum for Central Africa, June 29-October 30, 1963. cat. 21
    Leuzinger, Elsy. Die Kunst von Schwarz-Afrika, cat. C6. Exh. Cat. Recklinghausen: Verlag Aurel Bongers, in association with Kunsthaus Zürich, October 31, 1970-February 10, 1971. cat. C6
  • Art d’Afrique dans les collections belges. Royal Museum for Central Africa (June 29-October 30, 1963).
    Kunsthaus Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland (October 31, 1970–February 10, 1971)
  • {{cite web|title=Ram Mask (Bolo)|url=false|author=|year=possibly early 1900s|access-date=02 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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