16 inch tall. An original piece of Guere Maskwork from the Ivory Coast
Guere Mask Ivory Coast
Living in along the western edge of the Ivory Coast, the Guere and their neighbours the Wobe share numerous customs and beliefs. Although they are separate tribes, the two peoples are often referred to as the We, whose name means "men who easily forgive."
We carvers focused on sculpting powerful face masks to which paraphernalia such as shells, bells, nails and feathers were added which were thought to reinforce the power of the masks.
The ferocious aspect of Guere masks - bulging eyes, open mouths and sometimes protruding horns - accounts for their identification as "war" masks but, according to Bacquart, they are worn primarily during funerals and - in a"detective" capacity - to single out guilty persons.