The We live in the southwest of the forested Côte d'Ivoire and the southeast of Liberia. They are in fact two separate tribes – the Guere (also known as Ngere) and the Wobe – although they share numerous customs and beliefs. As symbols of societal beliefs and values, their masks reinforce respect for the rules and functioning of society. The most striking feature of the We masks is often a combination of diverse materials that lends these masks tremendous expressive force. This mask represents a forest spirit. Formerly, bugle masks carried out important social control functions, including judicial decisions, law enforcement, criminal punishment, fine collection, and dispute settlement. Their aggressive, lively performance was intended to instruct in proper behavior, although in recent decades this punitive power has declined.
Provenance: Raskin Private Collection
Just finished acting as a prop in a major motion picture about P.T. Barnum. The film "Greatest Showman on Earth" starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Michelle Williams will be released Dec 2017.