African art > Mask > Kru Mask

Krou Face Mask (N° 13984)

Two projections with brass pupils refer to the phrase often quoted in West Africa "Four eyes", describing a person endowed with a power of divination. This African mask Kru also uses cannons from war masks Guéré produced by the bloodlines thanks to the multiple horned elements animating the surface. The horns at the top are an allusion to cattle, while cloth pouches contain apotropaic elements. A raphia cloth underlines the jaw.
Residual kaolin incrustations.
The Kru are divided into twenty-four subgroups, including the Grebo, based in southern Liberia and southwestern Côte d'Ivoire. Their leader is the bodio, who lives reclusively. Unlike most people in West Africa, they are not subject to Poro society. Their masks with tubular growths are said to be of origin oubi , and could symbolize the mythical creatures that populate the forests of the shores of the Cavally, to which the people address through ritual ceremonies. The interest of Cubist painters and modern sculptors in the abstract forms of the Grebo mask could be seen in some of their works, such as Picasso's metal guitar in 1914.
Sources: "Treasuries of Côte d'Ivoire. F.Neyt"; "Ivorian Sculptures" B. Holas.  

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Originex-collection française
EthnyKru
Countrycôte d'ivoire
Material(s)wood, brass, plant fibre
Height66
Width21
Weight2.15 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°
Socle inclusOptional

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