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Lagoons Region Bronze Mask - PF.4988
Origin: Eastern Ivory Coast
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 9.75" (24.8cm) high x 5.75" (14.6cm) wide
Collection: African
Style: Lagoons Region
Medium: Bronze

As with most African people masks were and are made to be used in dance rituals. Unlike many other tribes, masks from the Lagoons region do not represent ancestors; though they are worn exclusively by men. One of the major types of masks are those made for the gba gba dance performed at funerals of women during the harvest season. These masks celebrate beauty, and are thus noted for their refined features. The features of this very beautiful mask are basically simple; the eyes are thin slits with heavy eyelids, which gives a meditative expression. The almond shaped mouth is slightly raised by the curving of the lips. A beard joined at the bottom is comprised of five separately braided strands, adding a textural element to the smooth surface of the face. Subtle scarification in the form of four short vertical bands is seen on either side of the forehead. The brilliance of this mask is its combination of masculine and feminine elements blended in perfect harmony. It projects a sense of lightness from hard metal, of spirituality from flesh, of a real human being experiencing a bliss of an enlightened moment, touched by something divine in a gentle whisper. - (PF.4988)


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