Old used mask - GUERE / DAN - Ivory Coast / Liberia

Old used mask - GUERE / DAN - Ivory Coast / Liberia
Mid 20th Century - Good condition

Ivory Coast / Liberia
Wood, textile, metal, hair, pigmnet, animal skin, encrusted patina
32 cm

While some masks were made for entertainment and public ceremonies, others, including this expressive mask from the Gere or Kran people of western Côte d’Ivoire, were used in secretive rituals associated with the Poro society, common across many cultures in the region. The main functions of the Poro society were to provide adjudications in questions of justice and to oversee a rigorous initiatory process for boys. As the missionary George Harley notes in his papers on the Poro: “The religious significance of the Poro should be emphasized. Not only are the men supposed to meet the ancestral spirits in the sacred grove; but they conduct rites and sacrifices of a type suggesting the worship of high gods. Though these high gods do not form a pantheon as they do among the semi-Bantu of Nigeria, there is evidence that traces of them appear in the secret ritual within the Poro, perhaps visibly as masked figures” (Harley, “Notes on the Poro in Liberia”, Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Vol. XIX, No. 2, 1941, p. 4).

Shipping via Royal Mail (unless requested otherwise) within 24hrs after payment is received. Tracking number will be provided. Signature upon delivery. Fully insured.

Lot details
Not registered yet?
By creating your free Catawiki account, you’ll be able to bid on any of our 50,000 special objects up for auction every week.
or Sign in