African art > Mask > Zaouli Mask
Zaouli Dance Gouro Gu Mask (N° 16842)
African mask of Côte d'Ivoire and animal symbolism in African art. This monoxyle sculpture depicts a fine female face whose headdress is surmounted by two animal figures. A lively polychrome laquise embellishes the room.
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Among the group of Mande in the south, in the center of Côte d'Ivoire, on the banks of the Bandama, the Gouro are organized in lineages, and constitute the western neighbors of the Baoulé who have borrowed several characteristics of their creations. Animists, they have been using a family of masks associated with the dy Zaouli. Indeed, like the African masks Goli des Baoulé, all Guro masks, related to the geniuses of nature, come in two zoomorphic masks followed by a third anthropomorph, who is considered the wife of the mask zamblé , the Gu . The Gu , whose function is apotropaic, represents a young woman with the beauty criteria specific to the Guro, especially the facial scarifications and the limed teeth, absent in this copy. It is by singing in honor of the zamblé that the Gu, according to the sound of the flute, moves gracefully. The dancer is fully clothed with brightly coloured fabrics and plant fibres in harmony with the mask's polychromy, and performs various acrobatic feats in front of an attentive audience.
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