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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Dan Masks : Dan Wooden Mask
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Dan Wooden Mask - PF.5617
Origin: Liberia/Ivory Coast
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 9.5" (24.1cm) high x 6.625" (16.8cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Wood

$6,000.00
Location: United States
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Description
This heavily encrusted wooden mask originated from the northern Dan. This is indicated by the carefully hollowed and smoothed interior, as well as by the oval face with its finely carved features: high forehead, raised eyebrows, and strongly protruding mouth with full lips. The circular eyes that permit unhindered vision on the part of the wearer are characteristic of the racer mask (gunye ge) and the fire mask (zakpei ge), two mask types originating in the north. The gunye ge hold weekly running contests during the dry season to test the prowess of young warriors. The zapkei ge also appear at this time of the year to inspect cooking fires and prevent possible spreading. A fiber wig and beard would have originally filled the holes around the rim of the mask. This wig would have covered up the scarf that the wearer had to wrap around his head as a rule. Stylized fibrous lashes might have once filled the small, perforated holes around the eyes. The thick layers of dark patina and encrustation reveal that this mask served its ritual purpose well. - (PF.5617)

 

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