African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Dan mask
Dan Gunyeya "racing" mask (N° 20635)
An actor of social order, the African Dan mask would, according to Eberhard Fisher, be of the feminine or masculine type. The almond-shaped face, with harmonious features, is pierced by large circular eyes trimmed with metal. Smooth grayish brown patina.
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The masks equipped with round orbits ( named gunyeya or gunye ge), facilitating vision, are part of the mask set of the Northern Dan and are used for racing events during the dry season. As for the zapkei ge , equipped with a gaze highlighted with red textile pierced with circular orbits, they are responsible for preventing fires by watching over domestic fires. They are worn accessorized with caps, braids, textile cape and raffia, the most prestigious of them being the go ge , royal mask reserved for exceptional events. The "déanglé" with its wrinkled eyes, embodying an ideal of beauty, plays an active role between the initiation camp and the village.
ref. Art of Sub-Saharan Africa" C. Mullen Kreamer; "Tribal Art of Black Africa" J.B. Bacquart.
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