African art > Mask > Wobé Mask
Wé Wobé beak mask (N° 16456)
Each family clan depends, the Wobé, on the authority of an elder respected for his wisdom and rank. It also depends on the organization of family life, and also of religious life. Masks such as this copy have powerful attributes (metal, horns, kaolin coatings) that are supposed to facilitate communication with spirits. In this case the long bifid beak that extends the sculpted face is a reminder of the forces of nature and their ability to provide for human needs. It is encrusted on each side of its faces with large metal pellets haloed with kaolin, a reminder of the elements highlighting the arches. Satin patina, locally grainy.
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The Wé , ethnic group of western Côte d'Ivoire have produced African masks that are the result of interlocking stylistic forms. The Dan , to the north, and the Wé of the south (group Krou including Guéré, the Wobé of the northeast and the Wé of Liberia called Kran or Khran), have used frequent borrowings due to their proximity. The elements of the bush, protubating volumes of the forehead evoking a horn, zoomorphic jaw, are associated with human features marking the duality of the divine. Before the 1960s, masks, whose design 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.
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|Material(s)||wood, metal, textile|
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