GUERE STYLE MASKS, Liberia and Ivory Coast

Despite their appearance, we do not believe the Guere masks below have seen actual tribal use.

 

GUERE Style
Mask 323
23" high
$800

GUERE Style
Mask 318
25" high
$1200

GUERE Style
Mask 363
16" high
$500

GUERE Style
Mask 321
15" high
$600 

 

GUERE Style
Mask 311
20" high
$400

GUERE Style
Mask 315
15" high
$700

Photographs © Hamill Gallery

GUERE STYLE MASKS, Liberia and Ivory Coast

Living in along the western edge of the Ivory Coast, the Guere and their neighbors the Wobe share numerous customs and beliefs. Although they are separate tribes, the two peoples are often referred to as the We, whose name means "men who easily forgive."

According to Jean-Baptiste Bacquart in his excellent book The Tribal Arts of Africa, We carvers focused on sculpting powerful face masks to which paraphernalia such as shells, bells, nails and feathers were added which were thought to reinforce the power of the masks.

The ferocious aspect of Guere masks - bulging eyes, open mouths and sometimes protruding horns - accounts for their identification as "war" masks but, according to Bacquart, they are worn primarily during funerals and - in a"detective" capacity - to single out guilty persons.

 

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