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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Dan Sculptures : Dan Wooden Sculpture of a Man with a Raffia Wig
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Dan Wooden Sculpture of a Man with a Raffia Wig - PF.3390
Origin: Liberia/Ivory Coast
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 19" (48.3cm) high x 7" (17.8cm) wide
Collection: African
Style: Dan
Medium: Wood and Mixed Media

Location: United States
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Near the Loma are the Dan, a large complex of related peoples who produce a variety of masks, figures, and utilitarian objects. An agrarian people occupying areas in Northeastern Liberia and Western Ivory Coast, the Dan are known for their dancing as well as for the artistry and variety of their masks. Figures of the Dan are usually status symbols. Rich or important men would commission artists to sculpt images of their wives or of themselves. This sculpture of a standing male figure most likely represents a man in position of power and influence in the Dan tribe. Although small in scale, the wooden figure emanates strong energy and a sense of authority. The use of white cowrie shells as eyes on the very dark wooden surface is visually effective. The hair is braided intricately and the large protruding mouth reveals teeth. Both hands making fists and the slightly bent knees seem to suggest a certain movement or an attitude. This expressionistic sculpture of a man has a great impact on the modern viewers, stunning us with its presence and visual aesthetics. Although we may not know who this person is, we can feel his character and status as expressed by the sculpture. - (PF.3390)


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