Africa

Big Bedu plank mask

The Bedu mask is one of the largest masks in Africa and is from the Bondoukou region of Ivory Coast. They are usually from 4 to 8 feet tall and can weigh almost 100 pounds. The mask is generally danced once a year at New Year festivities, but can also appear a harvest festivals and funerals. Only strong young men can manage these performances.

This one is about 5 feet tall. Note how small the eye holes look on the middle of the shield. The black and white pattern would be quite an attention-getter when it was new.

These unique plank masks make strong abstract statements and have been compared to modern Western art. They often show up in museums and other important collections.

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