Lot: 44

98th Auction

Antelope mask "glo" or "zuin"

Côte d'Ivoire, Guro

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Old French Collection, Alsace
Helga Redlich, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Zemanek-Münster, Würzburg, 26 February 2000, Lot 272
Werner Zintl, Worms, Germany
H: 40.2 inch 1500 EUR
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, painted in black with bright colour accents, with crossbar, missing parts, base

This mask was part of a "dye" mask ensemble consisting of a large number of animal and human-faced masks. The dancers wear lush grass fibre costumes creating an impressive image when they move full of verve.
First of all animal masks appear, acting as a kind of vanguard for the anthropomorphic masks - they are said to "prepare the dance floor".

In addition to elephant, hippopotamus, buffalo, goat and dog, the animal mask figures represent an astonishing variety of different antelope species, which can be distinguished according to the length and shape of their horns. The present mask is probably a representation of "glo" (bongo antelope) or "zuin" (bushbuck) with overlong horns.

"Dye" mask figures are associated with jurisdiction, they are supposed to protect the village from all kinds of harm (witchcraft, quarrels, misfortune), appear at feasts for the dead and also for entertainment.


Fischer, Eberhard, "Guro", Munich, Berlin, London, New York 2008, p. 85 ff