Global Art & Artifacts

Dan Peoples Wooden Mask. Zakpai. Runner. Northern Dan. Cote D’ivoire. Africa

Click the photo above for a larger version and more pictures

 

I love this mask . . . primitive yet so very elegant!

 

A typical “male” Dan mask (round eye holes) known as the “fire runner” or “zakpai”. They were worn by young men who ran through the villages of the northern Dan tribes dressed in full body costumes in order to warn about or extinguish “forgotten” stove fires while the women were at work in the fields.

 

Certainly, a specialized mask by all accounts. There has been some controversy about “zakpai” but my agent assured me that he has the expertise and authentication experience (25 years) to verify the origin/use.

 

Very well carved with accented areas (metal strips around the eyes and red textile on the upper lip). There appears to be residue of some organic matter on the forehead . . . and then there is the single nail.

 

Obvious wear but in good condition.

 

A metal stand is included.

 

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