The Grebo people are an ethnic group that primarily lives in Liberia and the Ivory Coast.
Traditionally, the Grebo people were primarily subsistence farmers and fishermen, but they also engaged in trade and craft-making. They are known for their artistic skills and craftsmanship, including their mask-making, made from various materials such as wood, animal hides, and plant fibers and used in various ceremonial and religious contexts, such as initiations, funerals, and harvest festivals.
One of the most important Grebo masks is the "Zagba" mask. It is a large, colorful mask that is worn during the "Zagba" festival, which is held every five years. The festival celebrates the Grebo people's ancestors and is an occasion for the entire community to come together and participate in traditional dances and rituals. The Zagba mask represents ancestral spirits and is believed to bring protection and blessings to the community.
Another important Grebo mask is the "Bwiti" mask. It is a small mask that is worn during initiation ceremonies for young men. The mask represents the spirit world and is believed to help initiate young men into adulthood.
"The Kru are divided into twenty-four subgroups, which include the Grebo, settled in southern Liberia and southwestern Côte d'Ivoire. Bodio, who heads this ethnic group, lives a secluded life. Unlike most West African populations, they are not subject to Poro society. Their masks with tubular protuberances are said to be of Ubi origin and possibly symbolize the mythical creatures that inhabit the forests on the banks of the Cavally, which people address through ceremonies".
Source: François Neyt "Treasures of Ivory Coast", Fonds Mercator.