African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Dan mask
Dan mask (N° 20555)
An actor of social order, the African Dan mask would, according to Eberhard Fisher, be of the female or male type. The face pierced with large circular eyes is accompanied by a braided raffia headband embellished with a cowrie shell trim.
Watch the video
Height on base: 30 cm.
The masks equipped with round orbits ( gunye ge), facilitating vision, are part of the set of masks of the Northern Dan and are used for racing events in the dry season. As for the zapkei ge , also 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.
For the Dan, or Yacouba, living in western Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia, the "dü" force that would animate the world would manifest itself in the sculpted masks. It is in this way that it seeks to bring knowledge to man in order to give him support, using the channel of dreams beforehand. The spirits then indicate how to name the mask they wish to see made. These masks of different types are endowed with social, spiritual and political functions, often evolving with time.
ref. Art of Sub-Saharan Africa" C. Mullen Kreamer