African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Grebo Masque
Grebo Masque (N° 25407)
African tribal art and “surrealist” masks.
Mask with geometric features whose pupils refer to the expression "four eyes", common in West Africa, describing a person endowed with the power of clairvoyance. Matte haloed patina. Abrasions, kaolin residue.
The Kru are divided into twenty-four subgroups which include the Grebo, settled in the south of Liberia and the southwest of the Ivory Coast. Their leader is the bodio, who lives as a recluse. Unlike the majority of West African populations, they are not subject to Poro society. Their masks with tubular growths would be of oubi origin, and could symbolize the mythical creatures which inhabit the forests of the banks of the Cavally, to which the people address through ritual ceremonies. The interest of Cubist painters and modern sculptors in the abstract forms of the Grebo mask can be seen in some of their works, such as Picasso's metal guitar in 1914.
source: "Treasures of the Ivory Coast. F.Neyt"
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