African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Dan mask
Dan mask (N° 21780)
Projecting forehead dominating broad lowered eyelids, incised, squared nasal bridge, hairstyle in parallel shells and curved chin. These anatomical details form the stylistic variants of the African mask named Gela , Geh-Naw , of the Bassa ethnic group from Liberia.
Shiny black patina.
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Liberia's Bassa group is based in the coastal region, more specifically around Grand-Bassa. Its culture and artistic production have been influenced by the neighboring Dan and Kpellé, of the Mande language. The Bassa have female and male initiation societies, including the chu-den-zo which gave birth to this type of sculptural work. The geh-naw mask, or gela , was worn on the dancer's forehead, fixed to a wicker frame, accompanied by fabrics concealing the wearer, and evolved into a graceful dance to mark the end of the initiation of the young boys. Wearing this mask is nowadays associated with welcoming ceremonies for distinguished visitors.
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|Origin||Ex-collection Mercier acquit en 1973|
|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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