African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Guere mask
Guéré/Bété mask (N° 17854)
Ex French tribal art collection.
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The African Guéré mask is reputed to be a complex piece both in terms of form and, often, also in terms of materials. This fantastic-looking mask here consists of human features framed by protrusions and outgrowths reminiscent of horns or fangs.
Mottled matt patina.
Before the 1960s, masks, whose elaboration was inspired by the visits of spirits during dreams, accompanied most activities such as war, dance, singing and hunting. Each of these masks had a name associated with its function. It remained the property of the dancer's lineage.
If this mask was invested with a social function, as when it was required by the chief to order certain work, it could also be intended to entertain the villagers.
The Guéré form an ethnic group from a forest region along the western border of Côte d'Ivoire. They are part of a larger tribe called the Wé that also includes the Wobé ethnic group with whom the Guéré share many of the same customs and beliefs.
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