African art > Mask > Gouro mask
Gouro Gye Mask (N° 18034)
Among the Gouro and Yohouré, these masks of the je , gye, reserved for men, personify the power of spirits, who would have formed an alliance with men. Women must hide when they appear. Mask combining different zoomorphic elements, including a curved growth at the top, and a gaping mouth, incised with teeth. Satin patina, polychrome highlights.
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Among the group of Mande in the south, in the center of Côte d'Ivoire, on the banks of the Bandama, the Gouro are organized in lineages, and constitute the western neighbors of the Baoulé who have borrowed several characteristics of their creations. Animists, they have been using a family of masks associated with the dy Zaouli. Indeed, like the African masks Goli des Baoulé, all Guro masks, related to the geniuses of nature, come in two zoomorphic masks followed by a third anthropomorph, who is considered the wife of the mask zamblé , the Gu. These masks are the property of families worshipping lineage ancestors, who make ritual and sacrificial use of them in order to attract divine blessings. Priest and soothsayer share the predominant ritual functions among the Guro. The secret associations worship the geniuses of nature, through the masks in which spirits are supposed to reside. Their protective spirits called zuzu were revered by statues placed on altars. The masks gu, gye and dye, in the hands of notables, are only displayed during major funerals or the induction of a chief.
Litt.: African Art Kerchache Art from the Ivory Coast E. Fisher and L. Homberger Baule S.M. Vogel; Sculpture, masterpieces of the Barbier Mueller Museum)
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