African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Wé Mask
Wé Mask (N° 13761)
Ex-French African art collection.
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The Wé , ethnic group of western Côte d'Ivoire have produced African masks that are the result of interlocking stylistic forms. The Dan , to the north, and the Wé of the south (group Krou including Guéré, the Wobé of the northeast and the Wé of Liberia called Kran or Khran), have used frequent borrowings due to their proximity. The elements of the bush, protubating volumes of the forehead evoking a horn, zoomorphic jaw, are associated with human features marking the duality of the divine. Before the 1960s, masks, whose design was inspired by the visits of spirits during dreams, accompanied most activities such as war, dance, singing, hunting. Each of these masks had a name associated with its function. It remained the property of the dancer's lineage. In this case, the volumes of the Guéré mask seem to have spaced high, airy, to house a half-closed, globular look, and a wide mouth evoking the gaping mouth of an animal creature. The volumes of the forehead are highlighted with brass tapestry nails. This mask would embody a formidable spirit, a supernatural power, that of the forest. It would appear equipped with many accessories, during night outings, illuminated by the glow of torches. Altered surface, abraded but velvety, residual kaolin inlays around the eyes. Two-tone skid light brown and dark brown. Ref. "The Soul of Africa" Diakonoff,
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