Yaoure Ceremonial Lo Mask Ivory Coast


The Yaoure inhabit the central area of the Ivory Coast. They are known for their carving skills and their craftsmanship is displayed on masks, figurines, everyday utensils and tools - anything can be a canvas for their artistic details. Masks, however, are the cream of their expression.

There are only two occasions when masks appear in ceremonies and they both are related to funerals and tribal purification. Deaths jeopardize the social order in the tribe. The Je celebration features painted masks and they appear to purify the village and to restore social equilibrium. The Lo masks are the unpainted, dark wooden masks, which appear to accompany the deceased into the ancestral realm: to release the spirit of the dead to journey into the other world. The objective for all the masks is to influence the revered spirits of the dead to protect the people of the tribe.

This delicately featured wooden mask has a soulful, serene countenance. Graced with a hornbill figurine - the symbol of protection and stability, this mask is 14 inches, 6 inches wide, and 5 inches deep. It has lovely etching and subtle carved details.

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