Historically, the masking tradition was foreign to the Baule, but over the years they adopted the art of masking from their neighbours the Guro and Yaore, with whom their masks share stylistic similarities.
Baule masks correspond to three types of dances, the gba gba, the bonu amaen and the kplekple.
The gba gba mask is Guro in origin. It is used at ceremonies during the harvest season, and celebrates beauty and age, which are expressed through fine features. Double masks represent the marriage of the sun and moon and also represent twins, whose birth is a good sign.
The bonu amaen mask protects the village from external threats.
The very characteristic, round-shaped “lunar” kplekple mask is surmounted by two horns. It is used for celebrating peace and joy.