An impressive We mask

22 July 2020

Combining anthropomorphic and zoomorphic elements, it represents a spirit that goes up in the trees to watch over humans and has a power of metamorphosis. He can easily change into a snake (hence the snake skin that adorns the top of his forehead) while becoming a monkey again.

Despite its aggressive appearance, the strong protuberance of the forehead, the open ears, the wide nose with tusks under the nostrils and the triangular mouth make up a whole that masters the union of forms inspired by reality and those suggested by the imaginary.

Wè mask, Côte d'Ivoire
Mask. We, Côte d’Ivoire. H. 26 cm (without beard). Inv. 1008-16.
Musée Barbier-Mueller. Photo Studio Ferrazzini Bouchet.