Collection

Face Mask w/Braided Headdress

Face Mask with Braided Headdress

Dan, Ivory Coast.
Mid 20th Century,
Wood, Braided Vegetable Fiber, 10" x 6½".

This wooden face mask is only one of many regional styles and variations of the masks created by the Dan people. Primarily found in the Western part of the Ivory Coast and Eastern Liberia, these masks fall under two categories of representation: feminine, which contains an oval face and thinly slit eyes, or as masculine, which can be seen here, with a concave face and rounded eyes, a high, domed forehead, and a protruding, open mouth.

This type of mask is thought to represent the spirits of the forest, who 'request' via dreams that the masks be made. The newly created mask becomes a way that the spirit can 'appear' before the Dan people without risk of injury to mortals.

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Face Mask with Braided Headdress

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