Skip Navigation

Pendant Mask

Arts of Africa

In Ghana and the Ivory Coast, regions that acquired great wealth from the mining and trading of gold, rulers displayed their status by wearing a profusion of gold ornaments, even attaching such objects to umbrellas and swords. Although many of these ornaments are abstract geometric shapes, some represent human faces or animals. Such works were made using the lost-wax casting method, in which a clay mold was made around a modeled wax form. The mold was then heated and the wax poured out, after which molten gold was poured in and solidified in the form of the original wax model.

MEDIUM Gold cast by the lost wax process.
DATES 19th or 20th century
DIMENSIONS 2 3/8 × 1 3/4 × 1 in. (6 × 4.5 × 2.5 cm) mount (display dims. 2023 Africa Fashion.): 6 1/2 × 1 3/4 × 2 in. (16.5 × 4.4 × 5.1 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
CREDIT LINE A. Augustus Healy Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Oval faced with raised triangular nose. Domed eyeballs have center slits and are topped by crimped wire 'glasses'. Eyebrows handled same way, as is the mouth at the base. Hair outlined with twisted and crimped wires ending in numerouse short strands. Three suspension loops on top. CONDITION: very good.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Baule. Pendant Mask, 19th or 20th century. Gold cast by the lost wax process., 2 3/8 × 1 3/4 × 1 in. (6 × 4.5 × 2.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, A. Augustus Healy Fund, 49.32.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 49.32.1_PS11.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 49.32.1_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.