Baule Wooden Passport Mask Ivory Coast


Small passport masks are used all over Africa, especially by people of the Ivory Coast. They are miniature replicas of full sized masks that are used in initiation ceremonies. These masks are the personal talisman of initiated adult men and would be carried on their person or kept on personal shrines in the home.

Passport masks can be worn on the body, in a leather pouch or sewn into a piece of cloth. They represent an affiliation to a group or family. Replicas of initiation masks allow entry into men's societies - to indicate their right to be present and to participate in tribal deliberations. They are also believed to be strong protectors of the owner when they are hunting or traveling away from home.

This old mask has a wonderful smooth, deep brown patina. It is 9 inches long, 5 inches wide, and 3 inches deep.

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