Guéré Wee masks

Guéré or Wee are traditionally residing in west-central Côte d’Ivoire. Guéré is a designation developed by a colonial administrator for the people living south of the Dan. Female initiation societies have been maintained, and age grades of both sexes are still prominent. A cultural trait is the presence of women chiefs. Guéré society is characterized by weak political authority, with spiritual leadership having a separate role. Until recently Guéré were exclusively subsistence farmers; cash cropping has brought rapid social and economic changes. They belong to a language cluster encompassing ethnic groups in south-west Côte d’Ivoire and south-eastern Liberia, called Krou. This cluster includes Bété, Dida, Wobe, Grebo and a people simply called Krou. More generally Krou is a term applied by Europeans to the coast between Monrovia and Grand Lahou and the coast population who served for many generations as sailors on European ships.

Guéré Wee masks
Guéré Wee masks

Guéré Wee mask

The mouth, represented by a thin rectangle, and the triangular nose, go totally overshadowed by the protagonists of this extraordinary Guéré artwork, that is to say the multiple tubular eyes. The eyes are partly projecting and partly hollow, creating in this way a rich game of geometries and volumes.

Guere mask
Guéré Wee mask