Dan Guerre Guere Mask Wood Cloth Côte d'Ivoire
Both the Dan and Wee have dynamic masking associations known as Poro that initiate the young and regulate society. Poro is an exclusively restricted men's society, however masks between the Wee and their Dan neighbors are divided into male and female categories based on their form and details. Female masks are rounded or oval, narrow eyes and finely delicate non-challenging features, whereas the male mask is larger in size, grosser in proportions, with an open and challenging mouth with teeth, tube-like eyes, fur and raffia. The exaggerated features of this mask, though vaguely human, refer to forces in the bush whose energy and powers add to the authority of the spirit represented. Whereas female masks appear to entertain, male masks exercise social control, punishing wrongdoers, settling disputes, declaring wars and proclaiming peace. In the past they are also said to have been in the bush camps when the boys were being initiated. Wee masks like this were meant to instill fear through their appearance combining human and animal features and remembrance of the masks's aggressive behavior in the past.
The Guere or Guerre people are an ethnic group that resides in Liberia and the Ivory-Coast. They are known for their rich cultural heritage, which includes their traditional masks and masquerades.
The Dan Guere mask is a traditional African mask originating from the Dan tribe of Ivory-Coast. It is a type of wooden face mask that is used during important rituals and ceremonies, such as funerals, initiations, and harvest celebrations. The Dan mask is characterized by its smooth, symmetrical features, which are believed to represent the balance and harmony of nature.
The Dan Guere mask is known for its unique features, which include a prominent forehead, elongated face, and a wide nose. The mask is often decorated with intricate carvings and colorful pigments, which are meant to symbolize various aspects of Dan culture and spirituality.
In Dan culture, masks are seen as powerful tools that allow the wearer to connect with their ancestors and spirits. The Dan Guere mask is believed to be particularly potent, as it is believed to be inhabited by the spirit of a deceased Guere warrior.
During ceremonies, the Dan Guere mask is worn by a skilled dancer who is trained in the art of mask performance. The dancer will use the mask to embody the spirit of the deceased warrior, channeling their energy and wisdom to guide and protect the community.
Overall, the Dan Guere mask is an important piece of African art and culture, representing the deep spiritual connections that the Dan people have with their ancestors and traditions. Its intricate carvings and unique features continue to inspire artists and collectors around the world, making it a truly timeless and fascinating piece of art.
One of the most famous Guere masks is the Wee mask, which is used during initiation ceremonies for young men. The mask is characterized by its large size, elongated nose, and wide-open eyes, which are believed to represent the wisdom and strength of the ancestors.
The Kran mask is another important Guere mask, which is used during a variety of different ceremonies, including funerals, initiations, and agricultural rituals. The Kran mask is characterized by its elongated nose, which is believed to represent the wisdom and strength of the ancestors.
In addition to their masks, the Guere people are also known for their music, dance, and traditional clothing. Their vibrant culture has been passed down through generations, and continues to be celebrated and preserved today.
From the Collection of Dr. Robert Pearson, Denver, Colorado
Dr. Bob Pearson began collecting African art later in his life. He was an engineer, inveterate climber, and long-time collector of books and paintings. Spurred by the Douglas Society at the Denver Museum of Art, and his friendship with noted collector George Heggarty, he began building an enormous, eclectic collection. His African art library grew to several hundred books. He loved textiles and ‚Äúmaterial culture‚Äù-things which had domestic use, like spoons, cups, stools, and chairs, as well as masks and carvings. His collection included items from more than thirty African countries, and his fine eye gave him pieces ranging from a golddust scale to huge Dogon figural ladders. Africa Direct is honored to have been chosen to sell them.