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Grebo mask

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1000664Grebo masks belong to the Kru cultural group. They represent the spirits of the invisible world living in the forest, in a similar way to Bete masks.Grebo masks belong to the Kru cultural group. They represent the spirits of the invisible world...Zoom http://www.museum-lehavre.fr/sites/default/files/styles/exposition_portrait/public/multimedia/2008.4.100_a.jpg?itok=ALuxkSsCLe Havre Museum of Natural History – Photo credit : C. Livonnen
848944Map of the Kru cultural group.Map of the Kru cultural group.Zoom http://www.museum-lehavre.fr/sites/default/files/multimedia/cartegroupeculturelkrou.pngLe Havre Museum of Natural History – Photo credit : C. Livonnen

Grebo mask – Kru cultural group

 

  • Origin : South-West Ivory Coast or South Liberia

  • Ethnic group : Grebo (Kru)

  • Date : 19th century or early 20th century

  • Materials : wood, vegetable fibres, kaolin

  • Dimensions : 90 cm x 40 cm

  • Inventory number : 2008.4.100

  • Acquisition mode : unknown

Grebo masks belong to the Kru cultural group. They represent the spiritual forces of the unseen world living in the forest, in a similar way to Bete masks, even though they differ in style and size. Grebo masks are very rare and they can reach up to 1 metre.

 

These masks are shrouded in mystery. They are characterised by an elongated nose and multiple pairs of tubular eyes. It seems they have strongly inspired Picasso at the beginning of the 20th century.

 

There is only one photograph of Grebo masks in use, dating back to 1885. Therefore, little is known about Grebo masks and dances. All we know is that they were made by priviledged members of the tribe and they were used during secret ceremonies and village celebrations. 

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