Title: Face Mask
Date: late 19th–early 20th century
Artist: Unidentified Ligbi artist
Artist: or Unidentified Jula artist
Medium: wood
Dimensions:
11 7/8 x 6 x 3 7/8 in. (30.2 x 15.2 x 9.8 cm)
Credit Line: Funds given by Howard F. Baer in honor of his wife, Isabel A. Baer
Object Number: 140:1972
Place associated: Zanzan District, Côte d'Ivoire
Place associated: Brong-Ahafo region, Ghana
Current Location: On View, Gallery 117
Notes:
This mask celebrates female beauty through its exquisite hairstyle and refined traits. Its lustrous surface results from the application of oils and pigments, such as indigo and henna. In addition to earrings or other jewelry, these materials would refresh the mask’s appearance before each performance. An entertaining spectacle among Muslim communities, "Do" masquerades occur at weddings and celebrations connected with the Islamic calendar such as during the month of Shawwal, a time of rejoicing after the month-long fasting during Ramadan. Dancing in an open space in front of a mosque, "Do" masqueraders complement the mask with a full body costume of colorful printed cloth.
Provenance
- c.1970-1971
Karl-Heinz Krieg, Neuenkirchen, Germany

c.1970-1971 - 1972
Alexander Roth Gallery / Alexander-Suggs Gallery, Inc., Clayton, MO, USA, acquired from Karl-Heinz Krieg [1]

1972 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Alexander-Suggs Gallery, Inc. [2]


Notes:
[1] In an email dated September 27, 2010 to Matthew Robb, Michael Roth stated this object "came to Alexander Roth Gallery in 1970-71 from Karl Heinz-Krieg" [copy of email in SLAM document files].

[2] An invoice dated November 1, 1972 from Alexander-Suggs Gallery, Inc. to the Saint Louis Art Museum documents the purchase of this object, listed as "Senufo sub-tribe kpelie mask" [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Acquisitions Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, October 31, 1972.
Exhibition History
Title: African Highlights (2008)
Date: July 2008 - October 2009
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: African Highlights (2009)
Date: Begin November 2009
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Senufo: Art and Identity in West Africa
Date: June 28, 2015 - September 27, 2015
Venue: Musée Fabre, Montpellier
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
Venue: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Publication History
Title: West African Sculpture: Sacred Space, Spirit and Power
Periodical Title: The Saint Louis Art Museum Bulletin
Author: John W. Nunley
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: New African Galleries Focus on Art and Life
Periodical Title: Saint Louis Art Museum Magazine
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: The St. Louis Art Museum: Handbook of the Collections
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Saint Louis Art Museum: Handbook of the Collection
Editor: Mary Ann Steiner
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Permalink to this object