Liberian Grebo War Mask
“Grebo” means “leaping monkey people,” a reference to their
flight from a former homeland near the Sahara.
Their major economic activity is producing palm oil and palm kernels for export.
The culture of the Grebo, a little-known ethnic group inhabiting
the coastal region of eastern Liberia and the bordering forestlands,
was shaped to a considerable degree by their neighbors to the north,
the Kran, and Dan. Unlike the other people living in Liberia,
the Grebo is not structured by the Poro society.
They are ruled by a chief known as bodio who lives in near-total
isolation and also assumed the function of the grand priest.
The Grebo sculpt several types of masks.
One type is characterized by a massive face surmounted by two buffalo horns.
The second type of masks represents the female ideal with slit eyes and sweetness of expression.
The third type is male war masks, more abstract and flat,
formed by a board with an elongated nose and one or more pairs of tubular eyes.
The masks appeared during rituals reserved for initiates and at the
time of festive occasions when the whole population was able to see them.
The war masks designed primarily to terrify appeared during battles,
in the dances beforehand, and at the funerals of warriors.
Tribal Village helps keep the ancient arts and crafts of
Africa alive by promoting them to the world.
We source only genuine products directly from the artisans and work closely
with them to bring quality and create sustainable incomes for
them, their families, and the community.
Our products merge well with all types of interior decor.