Face Mask – Liberia

Face Mask (Gunye Ge)

Region: Liberia
The border between Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia cuts across several ethnic groups, including the Dan, Wee, Kran, and Grebo. In 19th–mid-20th century Dan society, dangerous immaterial forest spirits are translated into the forms of human face masks. Whether or not they are worn, such sculptures are spiritually charged. Male performers, gle-zo, experience a dream sent by the mask spirit that allows them to dance it. In performance, the masks are integrated into the hierarchical system that governs political and religious life.

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