Yacouba Gunyeya or Gunyege mask
Yacouba Gunyeya or Gunyege mask ( also called Racing mask) from the region of Man, Ivory Coast. With its wide circular ocular apertures and remaining of red fibres, this mask can be identified as Gunyege. The mouth with full lips is opened, big round holes for the eyes, the eyebrows incised; hard and dense dark wood, clear signs of use. Provenance Mohamed Belo Garba.
Gunyeya masks have has a sharp face and particular rounded eyes. During the races held each week of the dry season in the northern savanna, a runner wearing such a mask would chase an unmasked runner. If he managed to catch him by the neck and back, he kept his mask. If not, the unmasked runner would put on his own mask and, in turn, chase another competitor. At the end of the season, the runner with the most victories was proclaimed the champion. In the past, these races aimed at training men for races and fights but nowadays they have become games only.
600 - 700,- Euro
Height: 21 cm
Weight: 550 g (incl. stand)