Grebo Handcarved Wooden Mask Ivory Coast Africa


This serene-looking mask is from the ethnic group Grebo in Ivory Coast, Africa. This hand carved wooden mask has a tranquility about it and was used by the tribesmen during traditional dances in a beautiful display of culture. This style of Grebo masks gives a sense of mystery and obscurity in its lack of expression, which is also its charm.

Little is known about the Grebo people. Their major economic activity is producing palm oil and palm kernels for export. They are ruled by an isolated chief, the Bodio. He assumes the function of grand priest.

The Grebo are known for their carved wooden masks, which were worn in ceremonies to mediate or mullify the spirits, usually at funeral ceremonies of elders. They used a fine white clay, known as kaolin, to decorate the masks and the dancers. This mask was worn on the face as seen by the eyeholes cut out on either side of the nose.

Despite minor imperfections in the wood, including a few abrasions and fine age cracks, this eye-catching mask is in very good overall condition. It has excellent patina, and a distinctive tattoo pattern of metal studs. Overall length is 15.5 inches, its width across is 10 inches, and it is 7.5 inches

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