The Yaure people, 20,000 in total, settled in the central region of the Côte dIvoire, between the Baule people to the west, the Guro tribe to the east. Their art and some traditions are influenced by those powerful neighbors. Nevertheless, they possess a strong sense of identity and have evolved a refined art. The majority of Yaure masks play a fundamental role in restoring order to a society deeply distressed by bereavement. This mask with a depiction of a hornbill is called lomane, which means bird in the Baule language. It takes part in funeral ceremonies. The lomane masker dances around the body of the deceased, then bends over and touches it. The Yaure, believe that the mask kills the worms that decompose the body which is interpreted as symbolic purification. The hardwood Yaure mask has two distinct sections; the facial covering below and the towering hornbill triad below. The mask features classic Yaure styling with heavy lidded, narrow, slit formed eyes, an elongated slender nose and ovular mouth all which are representations of the supernatural aspects of the mask. The magnificent, highly detailed coiffeur is highlighted by two large lizards curling around the top, their long tails dropping down framing the face in braid like fashion. The lizards symbolize the tribes ability to multiply and prosper. The true focal point of this mask though is the three large, excellently carved hornbill birds surmounting the top each pointing outward with beaks pointing upwards. The entire mask is beautiful, eye catching and very well crafted.
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Dimensions: 24 inches tall x 10 inches across x 6 inches deep. The birds are over 9 inches tall.
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