Gothamgallery Fine African Art - Ivory Coast We Wobe Tribal Mask For Sale
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Outstanding African West Coast We Wobe Mask
Height: 38 Centimeters
Mid 20th Century
Highly stylized mask exaggerated features polychrome finished aged surface
US East Coast - Estimated $15.00
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Documentation of Authenticity / Any Available Provenance Will Be Included With This Piece
CONDITION Wood deterioration, chips and scrapes, worn areas, age cracks, overall condition good. Thank you and please view my other items.
BACKGROUND Modern ethnology puts the Wobe and Guere together under the name We, despite the fact that the people themselves use the old names. The We population is estimated at 100,000. Rice, yams, taro, manioc, maize, and bananas are the primary crops grown. Farming and hunting have been largely replaced by laboring in the diamond camps or working at the rubber plantations. Confederations govern both ethnic groups -- the largest is the warrior confederation which is led by a military chief, who also acts as a civil authority. The family units also play an important role in We social life.
The art of Guere and Wobe people is stylistically connected and both groups are often collectively referred to as We, meaning "men who easily forgive." Like the Dan, the We use a wide variety of masquerades, which hold important regulatory position within their small, egalitarian communities. Masks are owned by families and used by individual lineage members in contexts of social control, boy’s circumcision camps, and entertainment. Most We masks were created to frighten with the gaping jaws and tubular eyes. The style of these forest living people differ from the sophisticated, gentle and often refined art of the neighboring savanna-dwellers. We people produce a variety of masks often characterized by enlarged triangular nose, an open mouth and tubular eyes. We statues are rare.
Painter Fred Uhlman words - Most of the artists I admired, Picasso, Modigliani, Deraini, to mention only a few, had collected African art and had been profoundly
influenced by it. Shortly afterwards I bought the Baule Fetish and the Baule bobbin which are still two of the finest pieces in my collection. It is easy to see
why I bought them and why from that moment I have never stopped collecting. The head of the bobbin or heddle - pulley which is after all only a functional
object for the purpose of weaving seemed to me then and today as beautiful as a Greek goddess. The fetish moved me as deeply as the bobbin by its silent
tragic dignity and its air of profound meditation.
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Gothamgallery Fine African Art - Ivory Coast We Wobe Tribal Mask: $306