Mask (Goli)

20th century
Artist Unidentified


72.39 cm (28 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, pigments

Not On View


Africa and Oceania



The Baule assimilated a number of their neighbors’ masquerade forms: a naturalistic face mask, a horned helmet mask, and a flat circular mask called kple kple. The last of these, a male mask of junior rank, is one of several paired works that would perform sequentially in Goli society entertainments or funerals. It impersonates an unruly nature spirit that is considered to be both frightening and amusing. The flat, disk-shaped face with ringed eyes and rectangular mouth is surmounted by ears and large curving horns. The bold red coloring has contrasting touches of white, while the complementary female mask would be painted black.


Private collection, Paris. Alain de Monbrison (dealer), Paris. Merton Simpson (dealer), New York. June 11, 1990, sold by Tambaran Gallery, New York, to William and Bertha Teel, Marblehead, MA; 1996, partial gift of William and Bertha Teel to the MFA; 2014, acquired fully with the bequest of William Teel to the MFA. (Accession Dates: December 18, 1996 and February 26, 2014)

Credit Line

Gift of William E. and Bertha L. Teel