Global Art & Artifacts

Old Spiritual Dan People Mask.  Wood.  Liberia. Africa

Click the photo above for a larger version and more pictures



Dan masks are so very intriguing!


In the 9th Century, the Dan people migrated from western Sudan region to the north which is part of (present day) Mali.  Then, because of conflict, they migrated to Cote D’Ivoire . . .  and – present day – to Liberia.


Dan masks are sacred objects and are used for protection and as a channel for communication with the spirit world.  Other Dan masks – passport – are carried on person… again, for protection.


This particular mask is used to perform rituals and/or ceremonies.  Many times, they are worn while the dancer was on stilts.


The Dan believe that their world is split into two domains:  human (members of the village) and spiritual (represented by the forest and its spirits).


Most important, these masks (including this one) are guarded by a senior member of the secret “leopard society”.


This mask is likely from the 1960 – 1970s.  This mask has been in the hands of a private collector from Texas since the early 1970s.  Hence the phenomenal condition.


Stand is not included.


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