West Coast. Mali Senufo Kpelie Mask. Wood. Western Africa.
Mali is a land-locked African state that once consisted of three West African empires: the Ghana Empire, the Mali Empire and the Songhai Empire.
There are a lot of unique features about these masks – in additional to having refined feminine beauty. The Kpelie mask typically includes elongated flanges radiating from the bottom part of the mask . . . a reference to the hornbill bird. Usually oval shaped with arched eyebrows over narrow slit eyes. Scarification marks – as seen near the eyes – are also typical along with a small mouth and slender nose.
Kpelie masks were used at initiation purposes, whether for boys, adolescents, adults or at funeral rituals (designed to lead the spirit into the land of the dead). In addition, such masks were used at harvest festivals to thank the ancestors for a good crop.
This particular mask is in museum – quality condition. Dark wood patina. Circa 1950s. From on African art dealer in NYC, USA.
For the Serious Collector. Stand not included.
This stunning Mask has SOLD. Thanks. C.R.