Lot: 192

83rd Tribal Art Auction

Anthropomorphic face mask "gu"

Côte d'Ivoire, Guro

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
American Private Collection H: 13 inch 6000 EUR
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, matt patina, polychrome paint, grooved coiffure with jagged hairline and asymmetrical crowning bun, min. dam., cracks, small missing parts, slight traces of abrasion;
"gu" is always carved "uanya iri nya", i. e. according to the image of "a beautiful woman". She is the wife of the mask-being "zamble" and as such she must always follow her husband, i.e. appear after him in a masquerade. "Gu" masks and their cult always belong to the same families that own "zamble". A conical basket, attached to the mask is put over the dancers back of the head, thus helping the dancer to fix the mask in front of the face. The dancer wears a netlike costume, abundant grass fibre bunches, a womans cloth mainly in blue and an antelope pelt.

Fischer, Eberhard & Lorenz Homberger, Die Kunst der Guro, Elfenbeinküste, Zürich 1985, p. 180, ill. 88