U9G6M448.jpg (47119 bytes)Guro (Gouro, Gwio, Kweni, Lo, Lorube), Cte d’Ivoire

Elephant mask. The daily life of the Guro peopleis dominated by secret societies and by a belief in protective spirits, to whom the Guro used to build shrines and figures. The Guro have a very pronounced artistic sense. In myths and legends animals are helpers of the ancestors and are honored and respected by later generations. Like the spirits of some ancestors who roamed angrily about in the world of the living believing that they were neglected by their kinsmen, an animal killed by a hunter who does not perform the proper ritual may lay in wait to take revenge. A mask could entrap the animal’s spirit enabling the wearer to cause the creature to submit to his authority. When a shaman or masker puts on an animal mask, he absorbs something of the animal’s power. In particular, the elephant mask gives the wearer the elephant’s ponderous endurance. The elephant masks are used in ceremonial dances during different festivals.

Material:  wood.

Size: 8”x5”x5”

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