We are in the Ivory Coast, and more precisely in Bouake, we arrived today by flight from Abidjan; now that we check-in at the Mon Afrik Hotel, it is 3.00pm.
However, we decide to go out for a ride with our guide.
We decide to go and see some craftsmen who carve wood, obviously we are looking for masks and other African objects that we love so much.
When we arrive there are two guys who are working the wood, we ask them if we can take photographs and one of them accepts willingly, the other declines the invitation; it is always better to ask to respect people's sensitivity, privacy and beliefs.
After observing their work for a while, we take a stroll through the shops; we find ourselves in the land of the Bauleand therefore most of the artifacts belong to this population, but there are also some masks of the Senoufo.
Both the statues and the masks are beautiful, we would like to buy them all, but we are only at the beginning of the journey and we would like to avoid starting to make financial disasters; although, to tell the truth we brought 2 extra bags just for shopping!
We buy a Baule mask, the masks of this tribe are usually colored and are surmounted by statues or by a kind of ring-closed horns, the flat masks represent the male figures while those that resemble the profile of a face are feminine; we have bought a red masculine mask with small horns, we do not know whether it is ancient or not, what is certain is that it must have seen many springs because it bears the signs of time.
Our attention also falls on a Senoufo mask, true that in the coming days we will go to the lands of this population but this is just beautiful and also very heavy and this means that it was made of quality wood; it's a very dark and shiny wood, it's just beautiful.
Obviously we have had to deal a bit, it is part of the African culture to bargain and we really like to practice this art; we laugh and joke with them, it's a lot of fun.
After we have finished our negotiation, that has satisfied both sides, we say goodbye to our new friends and leave, but we are not yet satisfied with shopping and then we go to another place.
We enter a gate and access a large courtyard where, on the left side, there are 4 or 5 shops; a couple of these have modern objects and do not exert much charm on us, we prefer traditional objects.
Our attention fell on a mask made entirely of ropes and a front band of fabric containing fetishes and with a horizontal row of shells.
We did not understand which tribe uses this type of mask, we will do some research, but we like it a lot, we've never seen it before, so we buy it.
Even in these stores there are many very beautiful objects, not only masks, but also statues and bronze objects, we really did well to come for a ride.
We would like to take a tour to the market but today, being Sunday, there are fewer stalls, in particular there are no fruit and vegetable or other foods stalls; better come back tomorrow morning before continuing our journey.
We return to our hotel and relax a bit in the pool, what to say, the journey seems to have started in the best way.