Bedu mask

Bedu Mask

Material: Wood, pigment, iron nails

Location: Sir Thomas More Building

These immense, plank-like masks from Bondoukou Region of Ghana and Ivory Coast come in male and female pairs. Masks with a large disc represent females. They were danced almost nightly during the Nafana lunar month for the Festival Zourau at the close of the harvesting season, corresponding to our December, when such masks visited every home in the villages absorbing evil, misfortune and negativity. The mask is worn over the face with holes for eyes and mouth with the super- structure mammoth costume of raffia. The form represents a mythical buffalo-like animal and is one of the largest masks in Africa. Mask performances encouraged good social values, community harmony, health, fertility good crops. African art like the Bedu mask had a great impact on the so-called “modern” artists of Europe, and are very harmonious with ultra modern décor.