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Face Mask

A work made of wood, metal, and nails.

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  • A work made of wood, metal, and nails.

Date:

Late 19th/early 20th century

Artist:

Dan
Liberia or Côte d’Ivoire
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

Dan masks can be male, female, or a mixture of both like the one with a crocodile-like muzzle displayed here. They are manifestations of forest spirits that reveal themselves in dreams to sculptors. A naturalistic or stylized embodiment is then created under the direction of the spirit-patron. There are 11 different types of Dan masks, each with different names and meanings recognized by villages on the borders between Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Culture

Dan

Title

Face Mask

Origin

Liberia

Date

1875–1925

Medium

Wood, metal, and nails

Dimensions

H. 34.9 cm (14 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James W. Alsdorf

Reference Number

1964.1101

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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