Lot: 23487th Tribal Art Auction
Zoomorphic helmet mask "bonu amwin"
Côte d'Ivoire, Baule
|Provenance||Size||Starting price / estimated price|
|Kegel-Konietzko, Hamburg, Germany||H: 23.2 inch||
plus 21 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance
wood, polychrome paint, exceptional detail: crowned by large ears instead of horns, handwritten collection label "D94 K77/87 172-12" on the back, missing parts, cracks, traces of insect caused damage, paint rubbed off. "Bonu amwin" means "god of the woods". This mask of high authority belongs to the "do" secret society. This mask was greatly feared, it was a powerful force for averting harm and maintaining order in the community. Each village had at least one. Women were rigorously excluded from all performances and were not permitted to see the mask. Should a woman see one even by accident, it was said, she is doomed to die.