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Post Lot Text
This mask can be related to those published in René A Bravmann, Islam and Tribal Art in West Africa, Cambridge University Press, 1974 (pp.101-118).
According to Bravmann, this mask comes from three communities, the Nafan, the Kulango and the Degho people, in the Bondoukou region, Ivory Coast. In 1902 Maurice Delafosse noticed a Bedu mask made of clay emerging from a "Sakaza Bonnou" shrine wall, the place where Bedu people practice their cult.
The mask's role, either female or male, is mainly social: prevention of disease, fertilization and social control. The oldest Bedu mask ever found is now in the British Museum and was collected at the end of the XIX century by Sir Cecil Armitage (inv. no. Af1934,-.2).