African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Wobé mask

We Wobé mask (N° 20827)

African mask with a double gaze, whose visored forehead overhangs a face studded with spikes. The long horizontal lips, under a bundle of twigs representing a mustache, are still encrusted with a few scattered teeth.
A thick crusty coating remains on the surface. This mask would embody a fearsome spirit, a supernatural power, that of the forest. It would appear equipped with many accessories, during night outings, illuminated by the light of torches.
Semi-mate patina.
The produced African masks that are the result of interlocking stylistic forms. The Dan , in the north, and the of the south (the Krou group including the Guéré , the Wobé of the northeast, and the of Liberia known as Kran or Khran), made use of frequent borrowing 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 maw of an animal creature, are associated with human features marking the duality of the divine. Before the 1960s, the masks, whose elaboration was inspired by the visits of spirits during dreams, accompanied most activities such as war, dance, singing, and 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 purposes.  

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OriginEx-collection française
CountryCote d'Ivoire
Material(s)wood, plant fibre
Height cm28
Width18 cm
Weight0.95 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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