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The Guro people of western central Cote d'Ivoire have a long and rich tradition of mask-making and mask performances which are central to their culture. The masks are extraordinary, aesthetically moving works that resonate with viewers, both in the Guro country and around the world.
Based primarily on the author's own fieldwork, the book provides an understanding of the artistic life of the Guro people before the advent of the digital age, placing special emphasis on Guro masks. It furnishes a taxonomy of mask types - sacred, semisacred, and entertainment - and presents in-depth profiles of the historically important Guro mask carvers. The process of creating a mask is also thoroughly described, often in the words of the Guro artists themselves. Rare firsthand accounts of mask performances, at which "mask-beings", often in elaborate costumes, dance and perform for local villagers, allow for a greater understanding of the meaning and power of these artworks in Guro society.
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