"My dream is to one day have a big workshop to train a lot of people – especially school dropouts who think life has ended. Their success in the art of carving would be my legacy."
"I was born May 25, 1966 in Accra. My creativity seems to be inborn. During my childhood days, I'd create boats with worn-out metal utensils, which I'd float in water to play with my friends. I could also mold pots and animal creatures from clay, to the delight of family members.
"Due to financial constraints, my parents could not further my education and so after the 6th grade, I had to drop out of school and join my uncle, who was a wood carver.
"Since 1983, I myself have been into this art of carving. I was determined to make it even though I could not further my education. And God has been so good – I had the opportunity to sell my works to foreigners who visited the country on holidays. The only challenge then was due to difficulty in communicating; I found it difficult to correspond with my customers to get feedback on the designs they purchased. Those who returned in subsequent years told us how they would best like the carvings and this helped us to improve our quality. However my sales were slow because, except for tourists, our local folks did not show much interest in our art.
"I have trained about 30 people to carve and some of them have now set up their own workshops. I currently have five people working with me. In addition, some university students have spent their vacations with me as interns. We take them through the practical aspects of this craft, and the students carve beautiful designs.
"Thanks to the woodcarving art, I've been able to educate my four children and I know that with constant sales, I'll be able to give them a brighter future than I had. This motivates me to wake up each day to carve!
"My dream is to one day have a big workshop to train a lot of people – especially school dropouts who think life has ended because their parents couldn't further their education. Their success in the art of carving would be my legacy."
Bright colors distinguish this jovial personage, immortalized as a mask. Designed by Rita Addo Zakour, the piece is carved by hand from native sese wood and richly embellished with embossed aluminum. Its style comes from the Dan people of Cote d'Ivoire....read more
Carved by hand from sese wood, this stunning mask depicts the face of the moon. Salihu Ibrahim creates a design from the Baule people of Côte d'Ivoire. "Such masks are used on the first day the moon appears, in celebration and gratitude for God's blessings,"....read more
A flamingo spreads graceful wings above a quiet face in a gesture of protection. Serenely lovely, symmetrical features convey a sensation of peace and well being. Salihu Ibrahim carves the piece from African sese wood, a superlative example of Guro art.....read more
With narrowed eyes and clenched teeth, this horned mask is bold and menacing. Sinclair Yao Daley carves an image from the Senufo people of Cote d'Ivoire. "Senufo masks are used in the rites of the Poro society," he says. "This is a male organization....read more
COLLECTIONS FEATURING Ivory Coast Masks
Ivory Coast Masks
Shop among the dozens of handpicked Ivory Coast Masks and let your wall art speak for itself. Each African mask tells a unique story of its own, bringing lively energy and cultural dimension to any room or office space. Browse through an array of unusual and imaginative expressions on the faces of these West African masks to find the one that appeals to your personal sense of style. Should your time exploring this particular collection of tribal masks inspire interest beyond the Ivory Coast variety, we hope you continue to view African masks from other areas as well.
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