Global Art & Artifacts

Stunning Guro Horned Mask. Bird Motifs. Wood. Cote d’Ivoire. Africa

Click the photo above for a larger version and more pictures

 

 

The Guro of Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) have handmade colorful masks for generations. These masks are similar to the Baule….. but the similarity ends there.

 

The Guro (Kweni) are ancient hunters (more recently farmers) in the valley regions of the Bandama River.

 

The daily life of the Guro is dominated by secret societies called Zuzu. They are very traditional people and both males and females have an ancient cultural societies in which they are initiated into. The male society is the Je; female, the Kne. Enter the masks: Guro masks are an expressive part of their religion. There are many cults and dieties…. and many, many ceremonies. For example: the earth master makes sacrifices to the earth for the benefit of the village and members. Each village also has a diviner who orchestrates important decisions and events.

 

The anthropomorphic motifs and colors make these masks some of the most popular for collectors worldwide.

 

This mask was identified as a Je mask. Je masks are the first to appear in ceremonies to “warm up” the audience prior to the appearance of the elegant and more complex anthropomorphic ones.

 

The condition is good with a crack on the top left flair of the headpiece, some chipped patina and general wear from use. Stand not included.

 

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