Mask

We peoples
20th century, 1950–2000
Artist Unidentified


Object Place: Liberia or Cote d'Ivoire

Dimensions

Overall: 32 x 28 x 23 cm (12 5/8 x 11 x 9 1/16 in.)

Accession Number

2009.2703

Medium or Technique

Wood, pigment, fur, horn, cloth, fibers

Not On View

Collections

Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Sculpture

The angular forms and fierce expression of Wè masks can be striking - this threatening male mask with bulging slit eyes, gaping mouth, heavily painted surfaces and attached fur would be combined with a leather headdress with wooden, animal-teeth-like extensions. During special events, young men put on these masks and headdresses, donned fiber skirts and transformed themselves into otherworldly beings, performing songs and dances.

Inscription

? examined on site

Provenance

1969, sold by Mr. Kabah, 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