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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Guro, Yaure : Guro Mask
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Guro Mask - LR.041
Origin: Africa
Circa: 1850 AD to 1910 AD
Dimensions: 11" (27.9cm) high x 6" (15.2cm) wide
Collection: African art
Style: Guro

Location: Great Britain
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Hand-sculpted anthropomorphic wooden mask with applied brown, white and black detailing from the Guro people of the Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), in the valley regions of the Bandama River. Guro art is stylistically elegant. This arresting piece marks the typical features of the Guro’s dominant artistic output. The elongated face, concave profile and slanted eyes are shared by these masks. Many Guro masks represent Gu, and as such have features that correspond to traditional Guro ideals of feminine beauty, such as a narrow, well- proportioned face with small chin, high forehead, arching black eyebrows, lowered eyelids, a narrow nose with delicate nostrils, and slightly open mouth. There is no central political authority among the Guro people and power is held by a council of elders comprised of the head men of the various village quarters, as well as a number of men’s associations. The most significant men’s association is the Je society. This society uses a variety of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic masks, some fitted with staff-like superstructures, all ostensibly fatal for women to view and used for purposes of social control. Holes for attachment to the sides of the face indicate that this mask was originally attached to some such structure. Guro masks are now employed primarily for entertainment. - (LR.041)


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