country: ivory coast
material: wood, paint
size: 18.5" (47 cm)
provenace: scaasi collection
Mostly farmers, the Guro peoples of Ivory Coast (also known as the Guru or Kweni) are renowned for their rich masking traditions that feature brightly colored and vibrant masks with elaborate surmounts. These objects of joyful and sublime beauty are used in a variety of social and spiritual ceremonies. The craftsmanship of the Guro peoples embraces imageries tied to the land and to agrarian practices. This is reflected in the symbolism of the animals they feature on their masks. Guro masks are usually embedded with hidden messages of spiritual importance. Village life is mostly regulated by the Je society, male secret society.
Notes on the Scaasi Collection: The bulk of the collection was put together in the 1970's from galleries in the New York area while the collector was living in Greenwich Village. His collecting continued over the years though with a piece added here and there through till the mid to late 1990’s. No documentation exists, the information is from family members.