MSSU African Art Exibit : The MSSU African Art collection features a variety of authentic works of art from various tribes located throughout Central Africa. The objects in the collection range from mundane day to day grooming tools to ritualistic masks and statues.
Yaure Je Celebration Mask
Object Name:
Mask, Dance, Ritual
Other Name:
Mask, Yaure Style, Je Celebration
Place of Origin:
Yaure, Ivory Coast, Africa
Aboriginal Indigenous Art.

The masks of the Yohure represent human faces often supplemented by animal attributes. They have an elongated face with a protruding mouth and pierced semi—circular eyes set under a high forehead. An elaborate plaited coiffure parted on each side, often with horns at the end, completes the image, while the outline of the mask is characteristically surrounded by a serrated edge. The masks are considered emblems of yu spirits, very dangerous; they have to be handled with extreme caution. Cases of death that jeopardize the social order are the principal occasions for an appearance of masqueraders. By means of their dance, they restore the social equilibrium of the community and accompany the deceased into the ancestral realm. These masks are worn predominantly on two occasions: the je celebration and the lo ceremony. The first purifies the village after a death and helps the deceased's soul on its way to a final resting place. Painted masks are mainly worn by dancers during this ceremony, while for lo funeral ceremony masks covered with black pigments appear. Women may not participate in funeral ceremonies, neither may they look at the masks, for fear that this encounter with death might jeopardize their fecundity. This means that before starting the village’s purification rituals related to a death, for prudence sake the women are gotten out of the way. With the aid of such masks, the people hope to influence supernatural powers, or yu spirits, that can do harm to humans, but that can also ensure their welfare. The function of each type of mask is not rigidly fixed, which leads to their appearance during either ceremony.
Painted Yaure style wooden face mask. Elongated almond—shaped face with long protruding triangular—shaped nose, protruding crescent—shaped mouth and pierced slit almond—shaped eyes, set under a high forehead. An elaborate coiffure, resembling a stork or crane's neck, adorns top of head. Two serrated protrusions, with triangular geometric designs adorn sides of face. Long, ridged, wedge—shaped handle, or beard extends downward from chin. Very colorfully painted in black, white, red, yellow and blue.
Guy Mace Collection, (Turblex Company)
Wood W/Paint
Ritually Used
Carving / Painting
Art Department, Missouri Southern State University
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Front ViewFront View
Front View - 2Front View - 2
Right Side ViewRight Side View
Left Side ViewLeft Side View
Rear ViewRear View