Guere mask
11” / 28 cm
Ex Galerie Walu
Ex Swiss private collection, Weggis.
Ex Leopold Haefliger (1929-1989), Lucerne.
Old photo documentation by Ernst Winizki.

A unique and very special, in my opinion, Guere mask. While Guere masks are often known for their aggressive
appearance, this example is unusually elegant. It has a fantastic color pallet with red, blue and also green which is
found on the edges of the cheeks. To me there’s a resemblance to Haida or Tlingit mask with the colors and feel.
Haida and Tlingit masks portray a strong sense of power and serenity and that’s what I feel when I look at this mask.
The profile of the mask is deep, especially in the bottom part of the mask where it juts the chin and mouth out at an
angle which compliments the curved line in the forehead made with the old brass tacks. There are many small holes
around the perimeter of the face which are remnants of attachments that once adorned the mask as is often found on
these masks. In contrast to the fierce appearance of some Guere masks, this mask might represent a type that serves
a protective function to counteract and combat aggressive, negative forces, including sorcery, other offences, and
illness. They are used for a range of regulatory functions, including peace-making, and some are defined as
entertainment and as female masks.
Old photo documentation by Ernst Winizki.
Goes to show you just how lacking black and white photography is to show a tribal art object.