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Mask Representing Zamble
Guro Tribe, Ivory Coast
Wood, Paint, Natural Pigment,
12" x 4.5"
*Item sells with custom stand*
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.
African Plural Art was born from my deep love of African Art and culture – particularly that of Côte d’Ivoire (the Ivory Coast), West Africa, where I grew up.
The Ivory Coast, a diverse cultural blend of ethnic groups, is renowned for its craftspeople. From an early age, the convergence of culture, art, and business shaped my everyday experiences.
Now a proud US citizen, I live and work in California, where I started up a new African tribal art gallery – African Plural Art. I count myself lucky to be able to remain connected to African art and culture through my work. Because of my online gallery, I'm surrounded by artwork and tribal artifacts crafted by talented artists from across Africa.
My goal is to introduce the distinctive beauty of African art objects (including both tribal artifacts and contemporary pieces) to people looking for artisan designs to add an ethnic touch to their home or business. African Plural Art sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind collectors' items, statement jewelry, and decorative art for homes and businesses.
The art pieces available on africanplualart.com originate primarily from West Africa, where I have established a trusted network of contacts. I regularly visit local artists, villages, and collectives, with each item being personally chosen either by myself or by a carefully selected network of knowledgeable, trusted colleagues. This enables us to collect a wide variety of unique objects of excellent quality. As a result of this network, we are continually discovering extraordinary new objects from different countries throughout Africa.
Each piece is exceptionally unique, charged with emotion, and engenders a visceral response in the observer. Occasionally, in the course of their use, art pieces may have suffered, and have subsequently been repaired by the villagers themselves. This in no way detracts from the beauty and purpose of each art pieces; on the contrary, it adds to the unique character and charm of the work.
Solange Mallett, African Plural Art
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An Online African Art Gallery based in San Francisco that sells Tribal Artifacts & Handcrafted Art for people who want to add a unique, Ethnic touch to their Homes & businesses.
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