230415 - Rare & Old African Gela Guere Warrior Horn Head mask - Iv. Coast


Old and Rare African Old Gela Guere War horn head mask from Iv. Coast.

Height: 51 cm.

Extraordinary Gela War Mask from the Guere tribe of Iv. Coast. The term Gela refers to the animated being comprised of face mask, costume, and the wearer beneath. The mask present many natural horns blending animal and human elements. Gela masks have been given a variety of identities that, rather than describing their physical appearance, are linked to the powers associated with the mask persona. 

The Guere ethnic group are found traditionally in Iv. Coast . They are associated with the Wobe, Kran, Gere and others and are often grouped together with them as “We” people . The mask of the We people are often grimacing, fierce looking. 


We / Guere People, Ivory Coast: Gela Mask, commonly referred to as a Guere War Mask. Wild animal horns and cloth over carved wood, mid 20th century. The mask has a heavy patina from libations. 

The Guere and Wè people of Liberia and the Iv. 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 foulweather. However, Any gela can be called upon to reconcile problems within a community.

Guere and We villages are surrounded by the bush, and the people have a reverence for the forest. Both peoples are known as healers, with skilled use of forest plants with medicinal value. These same plants provide leaves that are pounded, mixed with water, and applied to the gela mask in a ritual of activation, imbuing it with the spiritual power and vital energy of the fores