Mask Representing Zamble
Guro, Ivory Coast
Wood, paint, natural pigment

12" x 4.5"
Inventory # 10283

The brightly colored face masks of the Guro people are danced in masquerades serving many different purposes, including harvest festivals, the entertainment of important guests, and secret initiation society rituals. Primarily, Guro masquerades incorporate three characters, the first of which is displayed here: Zamble. This sleek and shiny mask of Zamble is said to combine the graceful horns of an antelope with the powerful jaws of a leopard. Functionally, the Zamble mask is thought to protect against sorcery and to give the ability to see through those whose intentions are not as they appear.

In performance, Zamble is usually followed by his wife and consort, Gu. Her mask is a simple oval female face crowned with horns or an elaborate hairstyle, and often painted in bright colors. Gu dances gently and elegantly. The uninhibited and uncouth Zauli is the antithesis of both Zamble and Gu. Often identified as the brother of Zamble, Zauli has bulging cheeks, prominent horns, and protruding eyes. His behavior is unpredictable and disruptive. 

Price on request