Charm Mask Dan Guere

The cultural and social exchanges between the Dan and the Guere, also known as We-Guere, have been numerous throughout their long and tumultuous cohabitation, and these interactions are reflected in the appearance of this mask.

On one hand, we can see characteristic traits of the Dan style: a concave and ovoid face, a pointed chin, a high forehead covered with a rich brown patina. Traditional Dan masks are distinguished by the finesse of their woodwork.

On the other hand, we can observe typical elements of the Guere artistic corpus: a broad and flattened nose, a bulging forehead, a slightly open mouth, powerful features, and sometimes ornaments or accessories added to enhance the power of the mask.

Masks held a significant importance in the culture and beliefs of both the Dan and the Guere. They were considered receptacles for forest spirits or ancestors. If a mask became damaged, miniature replicas were sculpted to accommodate the spirit residing within. Some of these miniature masks were kept by high-ranking members of secret societies to seek help or advice from the spirit in times of need.

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Data sheet

Presumed dating
Mid XXth century
10 cm (18 cm with support)
Ethnic group
Wood, accessories
Ivory Coast
Jean-Pierre Schmidt Collection