Large Mask (Goli glen)

African, Cote d'Ivoire, Baule peoples
20th century
Artist Unidentified


Object Place: Cote d'Ivoire

Dimensions

Overall: 70 x 32 x 25 cm (27 9/16 x 12 5/8 x 9 13/16 in.)

Accession Number

2009.2581

Medium or Technique

Wood and paint

Not On View

Collections

Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Masks

The Goli masquerade of the Baule peoples was usually performed during the funerary ceremonies for important members of the community. The dance was comprised of four masks that represent a male-female pair. This mask is a representation of Goli Glen, an elder bush spirit that has antelope, buffalo, and crocodile features. The red pigment symbolizes blood, danger, and aggression and the mask is connected to both death and renewal. The presence of the Goli Glen was particularly powerful and women and children were discouraged from staring directly into the mouth of the mask. The Goli masquerade is still performed today; however it has become increasingly secularized.

Provenance

1960, acquired in Paris by Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart