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Face Mask Surmounted by a Hornbill

Yohoure Peoples, Ivory Coast

Wood

Gift of Cyril and Dorothy Packwood for Hamadi and Kebir Gadio

17 x 5 x 3 inches

With both anthropomorphic and zoomorphic qualities, this mask called Gye is used by both men’s and women’s associations. Its horns may be those of a waterbuck, while the surmounting bird is the symbolic hornbill. The mask is considered to be a male and female simultaneously. As a
woman, it is said to bleed from the nose on the night of the full moon, indicating its secret links to women’s cycles and rites. In its male incarnation, it can spit fire and serves to announce was, conflagration, and other social upheaval.

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