African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Wé Mask
Wé Mask (N° 14193)
A mask of "frightene" embodying an ancestor, this object is endowed, for the Wé of southwestern Côte d'Ivoire, with a power enhanced by the accessories that accompany it. In this case, a beard composed of raffia, bells, fangs and horns, attached to a bulge of fabric highlighted by tubular pearl necklaces cast with a ritual ointment. The wide gaping jaw is hemmed in with a hardened cloth that holds a cord, giving the appearance of thick lips. The helmeted forehead, whose furrows with red pigments are covered with brass nails, is adorned with two zoomorphic circular ears. White kaolin residue, matte surface.
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The Dan, to the north, and the southern Wé (including the Guéré, the Wobé of the northeast and the Wé of Liberia called Kran or Khran), made frequent borrowings due to their proximity, making it difficult to properly allocate certain coins. The Wé were known for their knowledge of plants for therapeutic use. The Bété on the left bank of the Sanssandra River were inspired by the Wé masks to create relatively similar Masks of "2 accompanied by horns and fangs, associated with the menacing powers of the forest.
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|Material(s)||wood, cornes, metal, plant fibre, textile|
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