Dan Mask


Artwork explanation

Dan masks are considered to be classic and since they are a faithful replication of human face they are readily distinguishable from others. In these masks beauty is one of the deciding factors. A big and protruding forehead, small mouth (Held in high regards between Dans) and big cheeks.

Dan masks materialize spiritual powers. This power is called Gle and lives in the forest and wishes to enter villagers’ life.

Dan people live in the northwest of Côte d’Ivoire where in northern areas is covered by Savannah and the south part with forests.

Dan people are usually farmers who prepare the forests to be used as new farms.

They cultivate rice and also hunt and fish to earn money.

Each Dan mask is used for a different ceremony.

All the different Dan masks can be easily distinguished. Although they are different in application, they can have some common elements.

Among Dan and Gouro, there exist masks which are not directly related to secret society of Poro, but have their own significance. These masks are usually made after the death of a graybeard of the tribe. Its goal is to be the embodiment of the soul and bring virtue to the offspring.

Beside the headman and the society of the elders, some male societies have existed for strengthening political and social unity.

These societies legitimated strict rules and expected every member to follow them.

They educated youngster in four months. The strongest of them was “Leopard” which has been a very powerful society to this day. They haven’t completed their task of social unity yet.

Among Dan these masks are not only the embodiment of the forest. They are the forest itself.

Existence of these masks in ceremonies will result in ending the fights which the headman couldn’t stop.

Dan people believe in a world which consists of two parts. One is the village and villagers. And the other is the forest, the fauna, and the wild animals which are being prepared

Crossing the line between these two worlds can be dangerous.

Distinguishing features:

Dan masks are concave, with sharp chins. Pronounced mouth and big forehead which is covered in brown color. Dan masks have different types with specific usage.


Artwork Description

Sings during birth, marriage ceremonies.


Exhibition history

CAMA Gallery | Cote dIvoires Peoples | Exhibition | Cote d Ivoire

Tehran Gallery

Cote d Ivoire

solo exhibition, 07 December - 27 December


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Dan Mask - 1900

Carving on wood 27 x 13.5 x 15 cm CoA no. 1812041354033

This artwork is unique

Price

£2,000

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