R7G8M476S.jpg (30744 bytes)R7G8M476.jpg (44494 bytes)Grebo, Liberia

War mask.  The Grebo inhabit the coastal region of eastern Liberia and the bordering forestlands. They are ruled by a chief known as bodio who lives in near total isolation and also assumed the function of grand priest. The Grebo masks incarnate the spirits of the invisible world who live in the forest. Unlike the other people living in Liberia, the Grebo are not structured by the Poro society. A characteristic trait of Grebo masks is polychrome painting. The Grebo warriors were once greeted by masqueraders after successful raids, and similar military masquerades inspired them to fight. European artists were entranced by the reversals of positive and negative forms on these bold, arresting objects. Symbolizing the implacable nature of battle, this war mask is designed primarily to terrify. These masks appeared also during the funerals of warriors. Tubular projections represent several sets of extra eyes.

Material:  wood

Size:   23”x10”x6”