The horned mask depicted here exhibits the serene, balanced beauty typical of Baule art. The horns atop of this portrait mask may be purely decorative, but as Vogel suggests, “this composition may be a veiled suggestion that the sharp distinction between humans and animals is artificial and sometimes blurred” (Susan Vogel, Baule: African Art, Western Eyes, New Haven, 1997, p. 168). Lustrous surfaces (in this case, also richly patinated) suggest clean, healthy, and well-fed skin. The present mask displays a curved coiffure and repeated scarification marks on either side of the eyes. Additional ornamentation includes two brass roundels, one at the center top of the head and the other between the eyebrows. Vogel writes: “The idealized faces are introspective, with the high foreheads of intellectual enlightenment and the large downcast eyes of respectful presence in the world. Ornaments above the face - birds, combs, horns, faces, and other decorative motifs - are chosen for their beauty, and have no iconographic significance; braided beards, and fine scarifications and coiffures, denote personal beauty, refinement, and a desire to give pleasure to others” (ibid., pp. 141 and 144).