Baule Goli Kplekple Mask
Origin: Sakassou, Ivory Coast
Approx Age: 1970’s
Dimensions cm: 50 x 28 x 10
Ref. Number: 1012a
A nice representation of a Baule Goli Kplekple mask, nicely carved and well used. Originally collected from the village of Sakassou where it was still in use, the picture to the left is how it arrived with its full costume but the costume was decommissioned and now we are only selling the mask on its own.
Goli is the day-long spectacle that normally involves the whole village and includes the appearance of four pairs of masks, music played on special
instruments, and, ideally, the joyous consumption of a great deal of palm wine. Goli can be performed both as an entertainment and for the funeral
of important men. The very characteristic, round-shaped “lunar” Goli is surmounted by two horns. It was borrowed from the Wan for a celebration
adopted by the Baule after 1900. Celebrating peace and joy, they would sing, dance, and drink palm wine. In the procession, the Goli preceded the
four groups of dancers, representing young adolescents. The Goli would be used on the occasion of the new harvest, the visit of dignitaries, or at the
funerals of notables.
The Goli Kplekple mask is one of several that appear in the Goli spirit dance. It represents a minor spirIt associated with the junior rank of male
dancers who perform before the more important masks appear. In keeping with its low status, this mask is made in a simple disk-shaped design and
lacks the more complex form and ornamentation that the Baule admire in their important masks. Considered a mischievous mask, the youthful dancer
playfully chases young women around the village, goaded by their songs.
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