Yaure Bird Mask

Lembu Collections


The Yaure people inhabit the central region of the Ivory Coast and their best known masks represent human faces supplemented by animal attributes. The masks belong to either the Je or Lo groups and for outsiders can be hard to distinguish from one another although in broad terms Lo masks tend to be primarily black while Je masks are often painted. The Yaure people are a small tribe who have been influenced by their powerful neighbours although they retain a strong sense of identity and have evolved a characteristic and refined art.

Yaure masks are worn by dancers during important rituals and ceremonies. On these occasions, the performers hope to harness Yu, the supernatural power that can either do harm to humans or ensure their welfare. Following the death of a village elder, the appearance of the masqueraders helps restore the communities social equilibrium and ensures the deceased a smooth passage into the ancestral realm.

This mask shows many of the features typical of Yaure Lo masks; the narrow eyes, a straight narrow nose and outer zigzag band. Lo masks often incorporate animal features such as the bird on the head of this mask. The use of animal features on such masks is intended to unite the community with the natural environment that surrounds them. In many African societies, bird motifs are used to symbolize the afterlife and are an indication that the wearer of the mask brings messages from the ancestors.

Size: 390mm x 150mm x 150mm

1 in stock

Additional information

Weight 0.55 kg
Dimensions 15 × 15 × 40 cm

390MM x 150MM x 150MM


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