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Lot 0015


A Tall carved wooden helmet with elaborate coiffure as well as a tall post finial with ribbed neck and ancestor face atop with carved eyes accented with stone or mineral pigment. The mask has an undeniable patina and wear from field use and measures 22 inches tall x 10 inches wide. The face of this mask and the ringed neck are most often associated with Mende art , so often this type of mask is erroneously identified as a woman's mask for the Sande society. It is, in fact, a mask used by male members of the Poro society. It is a type found among the Vai and Gola of Liberia and is known as borwu among the Vai and gbetu among the Gola. Both names mean "long neck" and refer to the cultural ideal of a beautiful woman with a long and elegant neck. The classic hair styling also represents a refined woman of social status. The gbetu is an entertainment mask that performs acrobatic feats growing very tall and then shrinking low to the ground and doing cartwheels and other tricks while wearing a raffia costume. Gola peoples, Liberia, West Africa. A durable metal display stand can be included for an additional $35.00


fair, well handled and worn

Buyer's Premium

  • 20%

A Very Fine Old Gola Gbetu Poro Society Mask

Estimate $800 - $1,500Jan 25, 2020
Starting Price $50
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Ships fromQuakertown, PA, US
Free Local Pick-UpQuakertown, PA, US
Quakertown, PA, USA