West Africa, probably Baoulé people of Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), late 19th to early 20th century CE. This is a dark wood mask with a heavy, squared-off browline and long, also squared-off nose; there is no obvious mouth but there is an opening below the chin. Carved as part of the mask are two large ears that can only be described as "rabbit-like" and a thin pole. The Baoulé are one of the largest ethnic groups in coastal West Africa and they are renowned mask makers. A mask with a similar facial style is held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and is believed to represent an individual. This mask seems more stylized and may have been part of a ceremony celebrating animal/human spiritual duality, a common theme in traditional West African cultures. Comes with custom stand. Size: 5.75" L x 8.25" W x 16.75" H (14.6 cm x 21 cm x 42.5 cm)
Condition: Slight wear to the wood; one very small area of repair to the base which is not visible from the front. Features clear.
Provenance: Ex-private Professor Peter Arnovick, Ph.D. collection, Menlo Park, CA.
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