Wè/Guéré Teé Gla mask
The Teé Gla mask imposed a terrifying presence, embodying the natural forces of the forest.
Tribe: We / Wobe / Guere
Origin: Ivory Coast
Approx Age: 1970’s
Materials: Wood, metal, raffia
Dimensions cm: 29 x 25 x 14
Ref. Number: 1789
Wè/Guéré Teé Gla mask from the Southwest of Ivory Coast. These masks were once used to prepare men for war. Later, however, they appeared on a wide variety of occasions: For example, they could appear at ceremonial celebrations such as commemorations in honour of an important person, at court hearings or simply to entertain the village.
Provenance: Helmut und Marianne Zimmer, Zürich. Gallery Walu.
This mask impresses through its own – masterful – sculptural language. The carving is a remarkable testament to the aesthetics of force, specific to the ancient art of the Ivorian Southwest. It was the Wè/Guéré who initiated the institution of the warrior mask, and the téé gla masks stand out as their ultimate archetype. The mask imposed a terrifying presence, embodying the natural forces of the forest.
Teé Gla masks were created to frighten their opposition during conflicts with their enemy, with their exaggerated features and adornments. The contrast of colours and shapes give these masks a powerful and expressive nature.
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