The 20,000 Yohure inhabit the central region of the Côte d’Ivoire, the territory between the White and Red Bandama Rivers, to the east of the city of Bouafle. The Yohure are geographically and linguistically situated between the Baule, an Akan language group to the east, and the Guro and Gban (Gagu), southern Mande-speaking peoples to the west. Depending upon their proximity to their neighbors, the inhabitants of Yohure villages are either entirely Baule or Mande speaking. Villages are generally associated with one clan. Not only their language, but also the culture, religion and art are influenced by their powerful neighbors, the Baule and Guro. The Yohure possess a strong sense of identity and have evolved a refined art. The Yohure decorate different everyday objects with figurative representations, but first of all their beautiful masks reveal their artistic abilities.
The masks of the Yohure represent human faces often supplemented by animal attributes. They have an elongated face with a protruding mouth and pierced semi-circular eyes set under a high forehead. An elaborate plaited coiffure parted on each side, often with horns at the end, completes the image, while the outline of the mask is characteristically surrounded by a serrated edge. The function of various types of mask is not rigidly fixed, which leads to their appearance during many ceremonies.
This mask just returned to us having spent 10 years at a private collection