The description of a masterpiece is mostly defined by a high price. Some masterpieces are rare, no doubt, and so it is difficult to compare. But what makes a masterpiece a masterpiece?
Both shown masks are authentic Kpelié masks used in tribe. Both are carved in typical traditional Senufo style. Both masks are truthfully and sincere.
The right mask, carved by Melié Coulibaly (+1952), a Koulé from Landiougou, has a raw and rudimentary look. The carving looks simple, beside the traditional side decoration and facial scars no additional extras. The surface is uneven and structured by the Kadal, the hatchet.
Bakari Coulibaly, Koulé from Dickodougou, shows a completely different level of carving skills. His Kpelié mask is overloaded with patterns and decoration elements. His mask is spectacular and flamboyand, and has every finesse a carver can provide. Even for a master like Bakari Coulibaly, this mask is a masterpiece in his own repertoire and achievement.
As said, both are honest Kpelié masks of authentic ritual practice.
Left: Kpelié mask, carved by Bakari Coulibaly, Koulé from Dickodougou. 38,0 x 15,5 x 10,0 cm, wood.
- Wenn Urform Form bestimmt, Markus Ehrhard, pages 160 - 163.
Right: Kpelié mask, carved by Melié Coulibaly , Koulé from Landiougou. +1952.
32,0 x 12,5 x 6,5 cm, wood. Former Karl-Heinz Krieg Collection.
- Wenn Brauch Gebrauch beeinflusst, Markus Ehrhard, pages 108 - 109.
Copyright content and images by Markus Ehrhard