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Mask (Zamble)

Accession Number
2002/2.348

Title
Mask (Zamble)

Artist(s)
Guro

Artist Nationality
Guro

Object Creation Date
1950-1999

Medium & Support
wood, pigment

Dimensions
16 1/4 in x 4 5/8 in x 7 7/8 in (41.3 cm x 11.8 cm x 20 cm);16 1/4 in x 4 5/8 in x 7 7/8 in (41.3 cm x 11.8 cm x 20 cm)

Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by gifts from of David L. Chambers and John G. Crane and Dr. James and Vivian Curtis

Label copy
March 28, 2009
This mask represents Zamble, a mythical creature who usually appears with his beautiful wife, Gu, and his brutish brother, Zauli. In Guro thought, this ensemble possesses great power to detect harm, settle disputes, and negotiate between the wilderness and the village. They dance only at the most important festivals or at funerals of family members who were entrusted with their care. Zamble is a composite creature possessing the fine facial features of a gazelle and the jaws of the leopard, a fitting visual metaphor for the grace and power of the youthful, vigorous male he is meant to represent.

Subject matter
Zamble is a mythical creature who usually appears with his beautiful wife, Gu, and his brutish and rambunctious brother, Zauli. In Guro thought, this ensemble possesses great power to detect harm, settle disputes, and to negotiate between the worlds of the wilderness and the village. They dance only at the most important festivals or at funerals of family members who were entrusted with their care. Zamble is a composite creature comprised of the fine facial features of a gazelle and the jaws of the leopard, a fitting visual metaphor for the grace and power of the male youth and vigor he is meant to evoke.

Physical Description
Face mask with stylized face and horns of an antelope and open jaws of a leopard. Forehead has three sets of scarifcation marks in relief; hairline is incised with pigmented linear and geometric patterns; striped horns curve naturally from top of head; eyes are set in ovoid grounds of white kaolin; top of snout shows incised V-shaped marks; mask is predominantly brown with traces of green, red and yellow pigment; chew stick in back shows some wear.

Primary Object Classification
Wood and Woodcarving

Primary Object Type
mask

Collection Area
African

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
face masks
masquerades
spirits (beings)
wood (plant material)

& Author Notes

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