African art > Mask > Masque Dan Bassa

Masque Bassa Gela/Geh-Naw (N° 12992)

Ex-French African art collection.
Menton in tip, animal teeth implanted in the lips, nasal ridge gridded with incisions, surmounted by a headdress of parallel buns, protruding, separated from the forehead by a headband formed of small shells. These anatomical details characterize the African mask named Gela , Geh-Naw , of the Bassa ethnic group of Liberia. Under the large eyelids in semi-circles, the hollowed-out slits are surrounded by metal siding. The granular patina has slight residue of kaolin. The group Bassa of Liberia is established in the coastal region, particularly around Grand Bassa. Its culture and artistic production have been influenced by the neighbouring Dan and Kpellé, of the manded language. The Bassa have societies of female and male initiation, including the chu-den-zo which gave birth to this type of sculptural work. The mask geh-naw , or gela , was worn on the dancer's forehead, attached to a wicker frame, accompanied by cloths concealing the wearer, and evolved into a graceful dance to mark the end of the initiation of young boys. They are worn today at the ceremonies welcoming distinguished visitors. Sources: "African Masks", Ed. Adam biro, and "The Soul of Africa" S.Diakonoff  

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Originex-collection Docteur Cordier
EthnyBassa
CountryLibéria
Material(s)wood, dents animales
Height41
Width19
Weight1.80 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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