Bete people, Cote d'Ivoire, Africa: Anthropomorphic Gre mask with brown/black patina, its strong abstracted facial features outlined with upholstery tacks. Hand carved wood, Late 19th century, NIR dated to circa 1885.
SIZE: 13"H x 7.5"W x 6"D
The people who wear the masks are viewed as protective agents that represent the spiritual forces. Gre masks are known for their distorted features like facial protuberances, horned heads, bulging forehead, and tubular eyes. They are designed to provoke terror through embodying wild animals. This mask, based on a human face, also has the tusks of a wild boar.
In masked dance performances, emphasis on a an animals strength and ferocity are evoked, giving the masked dancer power to expel evil forces and disease.
This piece will be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
Aged, worn condition. The wood has desiccated and has appropriate small cracks. Most tack-heads are rusted; some are worn smooth and shiny. The holes along the outer edge show friction- wear from the original rope or fiber attachments (now gone, except for vestiges within some of the holes). The inside shows patina of use, with the raised portions worn smooth and shiny from oil and use. The outer rim has small losses at the top and bottom edges.