Mask with twelve eyes (KRU)

unknown Master of KRU or GREBO
Liberia / or / Ivory Coast
Wood, Pigments  Leather 77 cm / 30.3 in.
Prov.: Vienna-Austria, coll. 2008



     This impressive Grebo or Kru mask is used in dance ceremonies and represents a bush spirit with a strong visionary power. Originally designed as masks used in times of war, the high number of eyes symbolizes the prophetic powers of the dancer. Six small holes allow the ceremonial master to look through the big plate.


     Such expressive masks have directly influenced modern artists in the early and mid 20-th century.