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A Guerre or Krou mask

A Guerre or Krou mask

Regular price €400,00 EUR
Regular price Sale price €400,00 EUR
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A Guerre or Krou mask, Ivory Coast, called Kroumen mask, collected in the village Toulepleu, a wide mouth shows baring white teeth below a bulbous nose, framed by small, openwork slit eyes that are outlined in white, the mask shows a diffuse blackish surface and is framed by animal hair, textiles and brass bells at height of imaginary ears. signs of ritual use, attachment holes around the rim, The mask was once infested with insects which caused some minor damage, provenance: Siriké Ba, Abidjan.

"Among the Guere and Wè people of Liberia and the Ivory Coast, individuals sponsor festivals that take place annually during the dry season, which lasts from November to February. These festivals feature dancing and performances focused on the figure of the gela. The term gela refers to the animated being comprised of face mask, costume, and the wearer beneath. Gela masks are given a variety of identities that, rather than describing their physical appearance, are linked to the powers associated with the mask persona. This gela mask is known as “The Ancient One,” suggesting that the style has persisted for multiple generations. Many people commonly refer to this type of mask as a “Guerre War Mask.”

"In the case of “The Ancient One,” features are taken to an extreme -- the mask seems to erupt in horns and tusks. Gela can use their power and strength for both destructive and beneficial ends. Older gela, for instance, are thought to be able to cause thunder and foul weather. Any gela, on the other hand, can be called upon to reconcile problems within a community. The feral aspect of the gela acts as a counterexample to humans, who are, by contrast, encouraged to embrace order and civilization. It is believed the gela can gather up the ill will and negative feelings plaguing a community and deposit them back into the forest, where the untamed forces of nature prevail. The forest plays a central role in the lives of the Guere and We people, whose villages are surrounded by the bush. Both peoples are known as healers for their skilled use of forest plants wit medicinal value. These same plants provide leaves that are pounded, mixed with water, and applied to the gela mask in a ritual of activation. The mask is thus invested with the spiritual power and vital energy of the forest.”Source: Primitive Living and Collecting

Height: 41 cm
Weight: 1,8 kg with stand

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