Kran Mask


Artwork explanation

This group belongs to the Kru language family and its people are sometimes referred to as the Wee, Guéré, Sapo, or Wobe.

Many Kran believe that objects have spirits or souls. Additionally, it is believed that powers associated with these beings included healing, fertility, and the ability to end conflict and create new villages, also thought that a town or village could gain protection from one of these water guardians if they were caught in the water and carried into town.

According to the Wee of Ivory Coast, it is also believed that the natural world is made up of spirits, referred to as Bush spirits. These spirits are part of the world untouched by man, and the Wee believe that keeping these spirits appeased is vital to the health of the tribe. Whenever new land requires cultivating for fields or expansion, or when tribesmen needed to venture outside the village, it becomes necessary to make offerings to the spirits, with such endeavors being surrounded by an air of danger. It is further believed that the bush spirits take corporeal form in order to interact with the villagers and participate in ceremonies.

The Wee feel that the bush spirits can communicate with humans through dreams, often demanding ceremonial masks be created in their honor in either male or female forms. These masks then serve a variety of functions ranging from ritual ceremonies, forms of entertainment, and focal points in moral stories to judicial and political controls.

Typically, female masks are viewed as less imposing and more beautiful than male masks and are in turn used more for ritual and entertainment purposes, while the male masks are often more ferocious-looking and serve roles in sociopolitical issues. That said, all Wee masks are believed to deflect sorcery attacks, and many undergo shifts in their primary function during their lifetime.

Distinguishing features:

The masks has pronounced mouth and are specific to judge, using for the protection of the village against evil spirits and the scariest masks are more respectable.


Artwork Description

It is used in special ceremonies like funeral and purifying ceremony.


Exhibition history

CAMA Gallery | Cote dIvoires Peoples | Exhibition | Cote d Ivoire

Tehran Gallery

Cote d Ivoire

solo exhibition, 07 December - 27 December


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