African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Elephant mask
Gouro, Guro animal mask (N° 21704)
The African zoomorphic masks of the Dié group in Gouro African art.
The elephant is honored with this polychrome mask topped by a bird.
The ears treated in rectangles form an uncommon characteristic of this sculpture from the Ivory Coast.
Organized in lineages, the Gouros are the western neighbors of the Baoulé. Their respective sculptures, by their morphology, testify to their close relationship. Priests and diviners share the predominant ritual functions among the Guro. The secret associations devote a cult to the genies of nature, through the masks in which the spirits are supposed to reside. Their protective spirits called zuzu were worshipped through statues placed on altars. The masks gu , gye and dye , in the hands of notables, were displayed only during major funerals or the enthronement of a chief (Kerchache)
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