Rare Grebo Divination Board, Liberia
Wood, hair, pigments
height 29 1/4in (74.3cm)
Vittorio Mangio, Italy
Arne Ekstrom, Cordier & Ekstrom Gallery, New York
Private Collector, New York, by descent
Private Collection, New York
Yale Van-Rijn Archive No.0082983-01
Cf. The Brooklyn Museum (Accession Number: 1998.127.9), and
African Arts, Autumn 1974, p. 39, figure 8
An x-ray of the work was performed and confirmed the head is original to the board and not of a later date.
According to Mario Meneghini (African Arts, Autumn, 1974, p. 38), "The Grebo have also produced a unique type of object, unknown to any other people in Liberia, which consists of a wooden board surmounted by a face of ethnic inspiration. For all the impressiveness of the massive male masks or the suave beauty of the female, Grebo carving, in the opinion of this author, is at its best when it achieves the abstract, classic form..."