We / Guere People, Ivory Coast: Gelle Mask, commonly referred to as a Guere War Mask. Wild animal horns and cloth over carved wood, with a heavy patina from libations. The form of this mask includes a centrally located disk representing a phallus. Mid 20th century. The mask has a custom-made steel display stand.
The Guere and Wè people of Liberia and the Ivory Coast have annual festivals during the dry season, which lasts from November to February. These festivals feature dancing and performances focused on the figure of the gela, which is embodied in the animated being comprised of face mask, costume, and the wearer beneath.
The mask seems to erupt in horns and tusks, and conveys great energy. Gela can use their power and strength for both destructive and beneficial ends. Older gela are thought to be able to cause thunder and foul weather. However, Any gela can be called upon to reconcile problems within a community.