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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Archive : Dan Wooden Deangle Mask
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Dan Wooden Deangle Mask - PF.4948
Origin: Liberia/Ivory Coast
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 8.5" (21.6cm) high x 5.25" (13.3cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Wood


Additional Information: Sold

Location: United States
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Description
The Dan are famous for their accomplished music and dancing, as well as their distinctive style of masks. All three elements come together in masquerades performed during initiation ceremonies. During the important period when young boys are sequestered in initiation camps, the masked deangle dancer appears among the people to solicit food for the boys. When masked, she is a benevolent feminine spirit, as in this lovely mask depicted with distinguishing features of a high forehead, narrow slits for eyes, and a small, puckered mouth. Once the mask is placed on the face of the dancer, it undergoes transformation, acquiring “spirit” and thus requiring a new name of bonagle. She neither sings nor dances, but has great charm and humor to cajole people into giving food for the young people undergoing the rigors of initiation. Whoever the sculptor was who created this mask, he has certainly captured the essence of a gentle feminine spirit whose character transcends territorial boundaries and makes her at home anywhere. - (PF.4948)

 

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