Bassa mask

Africa | Liberia

Bassa mask

Liberia

Geh-naw mask

Carved wood and pigments
Late 19th or early 20th century
Height: 8 ¼ in. – 21 cm

Ex collection Helmut Zake, Heidelberg

Published : Masks of the We & Neighbors, Adrian Schlag, 2022

Bassa mask 21 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
This mask known as "geh-naw" was used by the chu-den-zo initiation society of the Bassa people in the coastal area of Liberia.
These masks appeared during dances accompanying the return of young people from their initiation camp. They also performed during dances on the occasion of visits by distinguished guests or for other celebrations or entertainment performances.
The mask, which the dancer wore on his forehead, was attached to a basketry frame. The dancer looked through a slit in the cloth covering his head and chest. Because of the way these masks were worn, there show no signs of use on the inside. These masks are stylistically reminiscent of those of the Dan, with pointed chins and straight noses.
See "L'autre visage, Masques Africains de la collection Barbier-Mueller", Ed. Adam Biro, 1997 for additional references.
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