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Decorative Guro mask

Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast

Q:  I purchased this mask I believe in 1998 from a gallery (now closed) in Beverly Hills, CA called “Mozambique by Design.” At the time a certificate of authenticity and some history was provided in paperwork, but it has since been misplaced. I believe this is an ivory coast mask made of wood.  Do you have any further details on it? The mask wasn’t cheap when I bought it!  William, 765

A: This is a decorative Guro mask from Ivory Coast, far away from Mozambique. For a number of years skilled Guro carvers have been making beautiful and very creative pieces like this for the collector market.  These masks are loosely based on traditional forms that represent spirits of the underworld, but they can vary widely in design, color and the type of adornments that are selected. The subject matter of these add-ons is often highly imaginative. I have a friend who only collects decorative Guro masks, and I have seen shops that specialize in them.  http://www.novica.com/ has a very nice selection.  C

Categories:   Africa

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