Auctions is pleased to offer a stunning Gela or War Mask from the Guere or Wè People of the Ivory Coast, West Africa. Although they are separate tribes, the two peoples are often referred to as the Wè, whose name means men who easily forgive. Among the Guere and Wè annual festivals are sponsored during the dry season, which lasts from November to February. These festivals feature dancing and performances focused on the figure of the gela. The term gela refers to the animated being comprised of face mask, costume, and the wearer beneath.Gela masks are given a variety of identities that, rather than describing their physical appearance, are linked to the powers associated with the mask persona. The masks consist of distorted features that blend animal and human elements in an almost expressionistic manner. The gela mask is known as The Ancient One, suggesting that the style has persisted for multiple generations. Gela can use their power and strength for both destructive and beneficial ends.
Older gela , for instance, are thought to be able to cause thunder and foul weather, or to prepare men for war; the masks offered magical protection by instilling fear and terror in potential enemies. Any gela , on the other hand, can be called upon to reconcile problems within a community. The feral aspect of the gela acts as a counter example to humans, who are, by contrast, encouraged to embrace order and civilization. This powerful example is made of warthog horn and cloth sewn onto a wooden mask.
The mask measures 17.25 inches in width by 9 inches deep by 19 inches in height (43.8 cm by 22.8 cm by 48.2 cm). It shows wear consistent with a dating to the late 20th century and is guaranteed authentic.It also comes with a specially designed and hand-made iron museum stand. An extraordinary example of West African tribal art, it would make a superb addition to any collection of African art. Our goal is to bring the same experience and excitement of collecting that we have been delivering in-person to collectors across the globe at Primitive in Chicago. Every object we sell online has been carefully hand-selected with special attention to detail, quality, and significance. The item "VINTAGE GELA WAR MASK GUERE WE PEOPLE TRIBAL IVORY COAST WEST AFRICA" is in sale since Thursday, March 8, 2018.
This item is in the category "Antiques\Ethnographic\African\Masks". The seller is "gjpaw" and is located in Chicago, Illinois. This item can be shipped worldwide.