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Superb African Liberia Dan Tribal Mask
Height: 14 Inches
Centimeters: Height: 35.5 Centimeters
Measurements Mask Including Coiffure and Bells
Material: Wood, Pigment, Paint, Cloth, Shells, Metal Bells
Estimated Age: Mid 20th Century
Remarks: Stylized mask oval hollow form slit eye holes polychrome finished aged surface
Shipping: US East Coast - Estimated $15.00
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Documentation of Authenticity / Any
Available Provenance Will Be Included With This Piece.
Minor wood deterioration, scrapes and chips, worn areas, overall condition good. Thank you and please view my other items.
Dan people live in the western part of the West Coast and into Liberia where the land is forested in the south and bordered by savannah in the north. They make their living from framing cocoa, rice and manioc. Before unifying secret societies were set up at the turn of the century, each Dan village was an autonomous socio-political unit governed by a chief elected on the base of his wealth and social position. Slaves were finally emancipated in the USA, after centuries of brutal oppression and exploitation. Some of these people came back to Africa and live in present day Liberia. Although they still practiced some of the traditions, they were a mixed group of people that practiced different customs. Neighboring tribes mainly from the West Coast influenced them and the dominant Dan tribe took root in Liberia. Today, the leopard society acts as a major regular of Dan life and initiates young men during their isolated periods of three to four months in the forest. Dan masks are some of the most famous art in the Western world. There are numerous type of Dan masks and their functions are unique. The Go Ge mask belongs to the Go secret society and is worn to announce the death of important chiefs. Its features vary from one village to another The masks are usually large, and have an elaborated plaited coiffure.
Painter Fred Uhlman words - Most of the artists I admired, Picasso,
Modigliani, Deraini, to mention only a few, had collected African art and had
been profoundly influenced by it. Shortly afterwards I bought the Baule Fetish
and the Baule bobbin which are still two of the finest pieces in my
collection. It is easy to see why I bought them and why from that moment I
have never stopped collecting. The head of the bobbin or heddle - pulley which
is after all only a functional object for the purpose of weaving seemed to me
then and today as beautiful as a Greek goddess. The fetish moved me as deeply
as the bobbin by its silent tragic dignity and its air of profound meditation.
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