Guro Visions of Africa Series
  • Imprint: 5 Continents Editions
  • Publication Date: September 27, 2016
  • Price: $39.95
  • Trim Size: 9 12 x 6 12
  • ISBN: 88-7439-732-1
  • EAN: 9788874397327
  • Page Count: 160
  • Illustrations: 80 color illustrations
  • Format: Paperback
  • Rights: North America

This is the first book on the Guro, who live in the Ivory Coast in close contact with the neighboring Wan, Baule, Yaure, and Bete. For the Guro, the importance of masks goes well beyond aesthetics; they can be considered emblematic, allowing those who wear them to lay claim to their identity as Guro. Despite the effects of French colonization on the Ivory Coast, weakening the prestige of men whose power once resulted from hunting and war activities, the continuation of complex rituals utilizing masks allows these same men to preserve a form of political and religious control. By separating the categories of masks between those created for blood sacrifices to honor spiritual entities and those made for performances at funerals, political demonstrations, and even tourist events, the Guro have reinvented, galvanized, and readapted perfectly integrated rituals to a contemporary society in constant change.

About the author

Anne-Marie Bouttiaux, an anthropologist and art historian, is a research associate at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. She has conducted field research in West Africa, principally in the Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, and Senegal. She has organized many exhibitions.