Ivory Coast, of classical form, with fine lustrous surface and delicately carved and incised coiffure. Large ears rising from either side with a central janus head rising from the top of the mask. height 16 1/4in
Exhibited: Governors State University, IL, 2003 Krannert Art Museum, IL, 2003 Belger Art Foundation/University of Missouri-Kansas City, MO, 2004 Tall Grass Art Association, IL, 2005
Published: Bourgeois and Rodolitz, REMNANTS OF RITUAL: SELECTIONS FROM THE GELBARD COLLECTION OF AFRICAN ART, Ethnos, New York, 2003, p.10, fig.24
Masks are danced primarily for entertainment although some examples retain a sacred and mysterious reputation and perform only for a male audience where any contact with women or children is distinctly harmful. The janus head rising from the top of this mask may represent a spirit entity associated with the personage depicted; the large ears recall animal masks, though may allude to the ability to hear into the spirit world.