African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Kru Mask
Kru Mask (N° 18198)
The African art of Côte d'Ivoire and its fantastic masks.
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Doth of six pairs of tubular eyes, in reference to the phrase often cited in West Africa 'four eyes', describing a person with a power of divination, this Kru plank mask has a parallepiped mouth. The organs were treated in polychromy as opposed to the speckled and grainy patina, ochre brown color, of the whole. The top has horns joining together and a raffia beard trims the chin.
The Kru are divided into twenty-four subgroups, including the Grebo, settled in southern Liberia and southwestern Côte d'Ivoire. Their leader is the bodio , who lives reclusive. Unlike most people in West Africa, they are not subject to Poro society. Their masks with tubular growths are said to be of oubi, and could symbolize the mythical creatures that populate the forests of the banks of the Cavally, to which the people address themselves 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 Côte d'Ivoire. F.Neyt
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