Masque Wé

Selon le site www.africadirect.com "Face Mask. We/Guere-Wobe people. Liberia. Height: 19 inches. Wood, pigment, tacks, cord. Mid 20th Century. The mediation between humans and bush spirits is vital to the ceremonial life of the Dan group of cultures, which include a number of related sub-groups like the We, who produced the dramatic mask we present here. Modern scholarship combines the Wobe with the Guere together under the name We, despite the fact that the people themselves still use the old names. The We occupy dense forests in the southwest of the Cote d Ivoire and the southeast of Liberia. They have gained a great reputation as healers due to their knowledge of plants. The We have a culture related to that of the Dan. The function of this mask is unknown since the costume is no longer attached, but it is likely to have been used in rituals to appease the bush spirits. The We divide the world into two clearly defined parts, the human world with its villages, people, domestic animals and cultivated land, and the bush with its animals and the spirits of the rivers and streams. To cross directly into this world without "permission" can be dangerous, so dances are performed using masks and elaborate costumes in order to gain access for the purpose of hunting or traveling to neighboring villages or markets. The relative abundance of masks from the Dan region has not diminished their popularity, because their quality and appeal is consistently high. "