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Elephant Mask (Vi)

A work made of wood, kaolin, and pigment.

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  • A work made of wood, kaolin, and pigment.

Date:

Late 19th/early 20th century

Artist:

Guro
Côte d’Ivoire
Coastal West Africa

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.

Status

On View, Gallery 137

Department

Arts of Africa

Culture

Guro

Title

Elephant Mask (Vi)

Place

Côte d'Ivoire (Object made in)

Date

1875–1925

Medium

Wood, kaolin, and pigment

Dimensions

H. 50.2 cm (19 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James W. Alsdorf

Reference Number

1971.883

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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