African art > African mask > Mask Dan

Mask Dan Zapkei ou Gunye (N° 18797)

African mask from Ivory Coast distinguished by its circular eyes and its sculpted headband underlined by numerous plant fiber braids. The lips are decorated with metal sticks evoking teeth. This so-called "running" mask (pointed face, round hollowed out eyes, diamond-shaped mouth) was held against the face with cotton strips attached to the perforations of the contours and tied behind the head. Traditionally, its wearer was chased by an unmasked runner; if he was caught, he had to pass the mask to the winner, who in turn would be chased by another runner. These races were once intended to train men to run and fight. This type of event is now very often linked to the celebrations announcing the beginning of the dry season and those related to the initiation of young children. Locally abraded glossy patina. Residual incrustations of clay residues.
Mask of entertainment of the populations of Dan farmers of the northwest of the Ivory Coast known as Yacouba, he also meets, sometimes, as a messenger at the time of the circumcision of young boys. Some of the Dan masks, by their proximity to the Wé of Liberia (named Kran), in addition to the contribution of the tribes of Guinea, have been marked by the influence of the latter. The functions of their different masks, eleven types according to Fisher (1978), may also change over time. All Dan masks are sacred. They do not represent the spirits of the bush but are those spirits.  

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Originex-collection française
EthnyDan
Countrycôte d'ivoire
Material(s)wood, plant fibre
Height24
Depth24
Width18
Weight0.45 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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