Buffalo mask

African, Guro peoples, Cote d'Ivoire
20th century, 1950–2000
Artist Unidentified


Object Place: Cote d'Ivoire

Dimensions

Overall: 67.3 x 25.5 x 22 cm (26 1/2 x 10 1/16 x 8 11/16 in.)

Accession Number

2009.2673

Medium or Technique

Wood, pigment

Not On View

Collections

Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Sculpture

This buffalo mask once belonged to a male cult association, which fulfilled political and ritual functions on the village level and was owned by an extended family. Maskers wear such wooden headpieces with massive fiber costumes during their appearances. The Guro artists who produced this piece worked for local patrons, but also accepted commissions from French, other European, and American clients. When outside demand increased, some carvers began to cater entirely to the new markets.

Provenance

1965, sold by Claude Verité of the Galerie Carrefour, Paris, to Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart