SPIRITS-SPEAK

African Wooden Hand Carved Vintage Wall Mask Guro Gu Mask mask-4467

$72 $95
32/16.5 CM
The Guro people of Cote D'Ivoire are primarily farmers and are celebrated for their extraordinary masking traditions. These masks are brightly colored, featuring intricate surmounts that are used in various spiritual and social ceremonies. The masks are crafted with great care and often depict imageries associated with the land and farming practices. Guro masks are also well known for their symbolic representation of animals, which are considered sacred by the tribe. The Je society, a male secret society, primarily regulates village life. The Guro mask presented here is a stunning depiction of Gu, the wife of Zamble, who is a supernatural being. Gu is typically characterized as elegant, graceful, serene, and beautiful, with a skillful combination of human and animal forms. The masks are crafted with obliquely placed, almond-shaped eyes, finely sculptured noses and mouths, rounded foreheads, and small but sprouting lips. The hairdos and headdresses are also intricately designed and elaborate. The Guro people revere five animals, including the antelope, hyena, leopard, crocodile, and elephant, all of which are commonly found in the savannah or tropical forests where the tribe of 200,000 individuals resides. The Ivory Coast is home to the Guro people, whose artwork shares close ties with that of their neighboring tribe, the Baule. Interestingly, Guro is actually a name derived from the Baule language, as the tribe's true name is Kweni.

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