African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Wé Mask
Wé Mask (N° 16731)
Arrangement of disparate shapes for a mask supposed to provoke dread, half human half animal, its speckled patina is enhanced by the brilliance of metal with upholstery nails. Pink pigments for the mouth.
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The Wé have produced African masks that are the result of interlocking stylistic forms. The Dan to the north, and the Wé (Krou group comparing to Guéré, Wobé bee -east and Wé Liberia called Kran or Khran), used frequent borrowings due to their proximity. The elements of the bush, protruding volumes of the forehead, horns and fangs, zoomorphic jaw in some cases evoking the gaping mouth of an animal creature, are associated with human traits marking the duality of the divine. Before the 1960s, masks, whose elaboration was inspired by the visits of spirits during dreams, accompanied most activities such as war, dance, singing, hunting. Each of these masks had a name associated with its function. It remained the property of the dancer's lineage. This mask would embody a fearsome spirit, a supernatural power, that of the forest. It would appear equipped with many accessories, during night outings, lit by the glow of torches. The Wé were also known for their knowledge of plants for therapeutic use.
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