African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Zamblé mask
Guro, Gouro, Zamblé mask (N° 21525)
Struck with prohibition,the masks of the Gyé, or Dyé, society could not be seen by women.
This African mask, sacred, combining the characteristics of different animals, is the Zamblé, a mythical male hero. Narrow and curved, its surface is lacquered with areas of contrasting colors.
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Locally abraded satin surface.
Among the Mande group in the south, central Ivory Coast, on the banks of the Bandama River, the Gouro are organized into lineages, and are the western neighbors of the Baoulé who have borrowed many features from their African tribal art creations. Animists, they have used since the 1950s a family of masks associated with the Zaouli dance. Indeed like the African Goli masks of the Baoulé, the Guro mask set, relating to the genies of nature, comes in two zoomorphic masks followed by a third anthropomorphic one, which is considered the wife of the zamblé mask, the Gu.
Priest and diviner share the predominant ritual functions among the Guro. Secret associations worship the genies of nature , through the masks in which the spirits are supposed to reside. The masks gu , gye and dye , in the hands of notables, are only displayed during major funerals or the enthronement of a chief. (Kerchache)
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