African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > We Mask

We Mask (N° 25389)

Impressive We of Liberia "mask of bravery" once sporting feline fangs. Agglomerated residues of kaolin. Polychrome matte patina.
The Dan, in the north, and the Wé in the south (Krou group comprising the Guéré, the Wobé in the northeast and the Wé of Liberia called Kran or Khran), made frequent use of 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, the masks, whose elaboration was inspired by the visits of the spirits during dreams, accompanied most activities such as war, dancing, singing, hunting. Each of these masks had a name associated with its function. It remained the property of the dancer's lineage. The Wé were also renowned for their knowledge of plants for therapeutic use. Lit.: "Wé" A-M. Boyer, ed. 5Continents.  

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OriginEx-collection française
Countrycôte d'ivoire
Material(s)wood, osselets, textile, crin
Height cm44
Width31 cm
Weight3.50 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960
Socle inclusOptional

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