Peoples & Societies


Originally known as the Kweni, the Guro are a group of Mande-speaking agricultural peoples who live in central Côte d'Ivoire. The two hundred thousand Guro live in independent villages with no central authority, but form alliances for the purpose of war. The direct descendant of the village founder, known as the "master of the earth," controls the distribution of agricultural lands. Guro art is produced by specialists and often takes the form of wooden animal masks that are valued as sacred objects. The Guro received their present appellation in the early 20th century when they were aggressively colonized by the French.

Excerpt from

Roslyn A. Walker, The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 301.

Web Resources

  • Smart History
    Read an overview of the peoples and cultures in Africa.