An impressive wè 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, Côte d’Ivoire. Wè. H.: 26 cm (without beard). INV. 1008-16.
MUSEE BARBIER-MUELLER. Photo Studio Ferrazzini Bouchet.