Guro Janus Antelope Stool
Guro Janus Antelope Stool
Guro Janus Antelope Stool
Guro Janus Antelope Stool
Guro Janus Antelope Stool
Guro Janus Antelope Stool
Guro Janus Antelope Stool
Guro Janus Antelope Stool
Guro Janus Antelope Stool
Guro Janus Antelope Stool
Guro Janus Antelope Stool
Guro Janus Antelope Stool
Guro Janus Antelope Stool
Guro Janus Antelope Stool

Guro Janus Antelope Stool 17.5″ – Ivory Coast – African Art

$295.00

1 in stock

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The Guro people of Ivory Coast are well known for their colorful and highly decorated masks. This stool has two faces that resemble the zamble mask. The stool has some cracking, scuffing and general wear and tear throughout. Please inspect photos carefully.

Type of Object

Furniture, Stool

Country of Origin

Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire)

Ethnicity

Guro

Animal

Material

Wood, Pigment

Approximate Age

Unknown

Height

17.5"

Width

13.5"

Depth

14"

Weight

16.5 lbs

Overall Condition

Some cracking, scuffing and wear and tear throughout. See photos.

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Tribe Information

About the Guro People

“Between the Baule and the Yaure to the west, the Malinke to the north and the Bete and We to the south, the Guro people live surrounded by savannah and forest. They migrated from the north during the 16th century and number about 200,000. Originally they were called Kweni, but they were violently colonized between 1906 and 1912 and were given the Baule name Guro by the invading French colonials. Guro villages have rounded houses in the northern area and rectangular houses in the southern region. Village life is regulated by a council of elders, representing each main family, and by secret societies. The Guro farm predominantly cotton, rice, coffee and cocoa - the men clear the fields and the women plant. “

Sources:
Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.

Additional Information

About the Zamble Mask

Zamble, the handsome male masker with animal-like features.
Undoubtedly the most “typical” Guro mask and perhaps the masker who performs most frequently in northern Guro villages, at least in the recent past, is zamble. But strangely enough, this mask and his masquerade have also remained the least known.
Za means ‘owner’ and ‘ble’ ‘to kill, to eat.’
IN one of the most beautiful but abridged versions of zamble’s origins, recorded by Himmelheber in 1975 in the village of Buafla, zamble resembles the image that a hunter once saw when, in the middle of the forest, a leopard jumped on the back of an antelope. The antelope stomped frantically at the spot to shake off the leopard, which had opened its jaw ferociously to kill the antelope. It is said that zamble – with his synthesis of antelope and leopard mask, the leopard skin on his back, and briskly stomping, antelope-like dance movements – evolved from this experience.
This narrative clearly indicates that the mask-being zamble comes from the wilderness, has features like the forest animals, and possesses characteristics of the leopard, the antelope, and (mentioned only once) the crocodile. Moreover, they show that zamble (along with his wife gu) was captured by a Guro hunter from the local forest and that this hunter eventually had to pay for owning zamble with the death of his mother (in one version). These details lead to the conclusion that zamble was not taken over from a neighboring ethnic group in recent times, but has long been a part of Guro culture, possibly since the forefathers of the Guro people migrated to the forested area where they appropriated zamble (and the related masks). In this respect it is of interest that zamble and his “cult” have, according to oral tradition, spread from Zraluo, i.e. from the center of the northern Guro villages and not from a peripheral area.
The zamble dancer wears a mask carved from a not-too-heavy wood that is stained black and embellished with various colors, especially white and red, sometimes indigo. It depicts a generally rectangular animal face that always has an open mouth with the teeth and the tongue visible. The mask’s rounded, human-like forehead is often marked by three (or three times three) scars, and the hairline is jagged or features a number of arches. Round or oval, les often rectangular, incisions usually frame the eye-slits, while the nose is long, narrow, curved ridge that generally lacks nose-wings and nostrils. Between the bottom of the nose and the upper lip, a vertical band of triangles or squares is incised. Horns like those of a buffalo or antelope sweep backward from the top of the mask and the tips are slightly curved, Small elongated ears may be indicated at the base of these horns.
The rim of a zamble mask often lacks any stain or colors; instead it is pierced with holes, often three pairs, that are typically made with a red-hot iron rod. The lowest pair of holes, at the level of the corners of the mouth, are the largest; it is here that a stick or a strong cord is fixed horizontally on the reverse side of the mask. The dancer bites on this stick or cord in order to hold the mask at a slight angle in front of his face. The holes above these large ones are placed in carrying positions, possibly according to the wishes of the performer, who uses them to fix his head-cloth to the mask with a string. There is, however, a faint possibility that they indicate the preferences of the carver.
A number of variations of this mask type exist, although the basic shape remains the same. First, the size of the zamble masks varies. Astonishingly, the zamble masks that came to Europe before 1920 are generally large in size (i.e. around 50 centimeters long), those collected in 1934 at least 40 centimeters in length, and those carved later from 32 to 40 centimeters. The hairline of more recently carved zamble masks may be more angular than those of the earlier variety, and while traditional nose-ridges are plain, more recently carved specimens feature nostrils. The snout can be either rectangular or a pointed oval. Horns may be flat or rounded, and are painted with stripes in carious way and numbers. The ends either curve toward each other or point upward; the tips may be cut flat or flat as well.
Some masks emphasize zamble’s leopard-like nature with canine teeth; others feature rows of spiky teeth to indicate his crocodile-like nature. The short horns, however, always imitate those of a buffalo or various types of antelopes, and the forehead marks and hairline clearly mimic human features. The nose-ridge is an abstract element that may point to zamble’s (historic) relationship to the goli masks neighboring Wan people; in their bulky helmet masks this is the most salient feature. But even if zamble combines these different aspects, it is considered by the Guro people to be its own genre of mask-being, completely coherent and unique.