The mask is an essential religious customary accessory used as well for dancing and communicating with the ancestors and spirits or as a passport.
As a communication means with the ancestors the spirits to which they grant mystical and religious powers, solely the initiates dance with the mask.
Even in present days with several ethnic groups in Côte d’Ivoire and Africa you will find mask brotherhoods which make their appearances during traditional celebrations or in the sacred wood. Women are not allowed to dance with certain masks or take part in their appearance.
Besides the religious masks you have the masks passports which, were in the past used as a means of identification by different ethnic groups. As a sacred object in the past, the mask has become a commercial object sold at various markets in major cities in Côte d’Ivoire and Africa in the last decades.
If you are a collector and like masks in general you will find a good range of selection of imitations in markets around the country in Abidjan, Bouaké, Daloa, Grand-Bassam, Korhogo and Man.