About this artwork
This mask with elephant features belongs to a masquerade tradition known as Dje that is practiced in the southern Guro region. It is one of several animal characters that are incarnations of dangerous spirits called yo. These masks’ supernatural powers protected the village and its inhabitants against witchcraft, drought, famine, disease, and other threats. Voluminous fiber costumes amplified the Dje dancers’ movements during spectacular, hours-long acrobatic performances that could only be attended by men.
- Elephant Mask (Vi)
- Côte d'Ivoire (Object made in)
- Wood, kaolin, and pigment
- H.: 50.2 cm (19 3/4 in.)
- Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James W. Alsdorf