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LOMA GUERZE-KPELLA Bakorozai Mask

Alan Wheatley Art

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Liberia
Late C19th
Wood
29 cm high

 

Provenance
Dintenfass collection, USA.
Lucas Ratton, Paris, France.

Description
This mask from Liberia is call Bakorozai in the vernacular language. It intervenes during the initiation rite of the Poro that takes place every seven or ten years. During the initiation, young boys learn to became men. It takes place in the forrest, in the 'sacred wood'. In Liberia, the hierarchy of the Poro constitutes a real political, commercial and military structure. The masks of the Poro are endowed with great power that enable them to watch over and protect the yoing initiates.