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Grand masque Grebo/Kru (N° 19827)
Tribal art of the Ivory Coast and its fantastic masks
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Featuring six pairs of tubular eyes, in reference to the oft-quoted West African phrase "four eyes", qualifying a person with divination powers, this Kru plank mask, coated with kaolin and indigo, features a quadrangular mouth incised with teeth. The top offers horns that meet. Abrasions.
The Kru are divided into twenty-four subgroups of which the Grebo, settled in southern Liberia and southwestern Côte d'Ivoire, are a part. Their chief is the bodio , who lives reclusively. Unlike most of the populations of West Africa, they are not subject to the Poro society. Their masks with tubular outgrowths are said to be of Ubi origin, and may symbolize the mythical creatures that inhabit the forests on the banks of the Cavally, which the people address through ritual ceremonies. The interest of cubist painters and modern sculptors in the abstract forms of the Grebo mask can be seen in some of their works, such as Picasso's 1914 metal guitar.
source : "Treasures of Ivory Coast. F.Neyt"
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