Dan Mask

Africa | Ivory Coast

Dan Mask

Ivory Coast

Late 19th or early 20th century
Carved wood
Height: 10 ¼ in. – 26 cm

Provenance
Ex collection Abla & Alain Lecomte, France

Published: FAB Paris, 2023
Dan Mask 26 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
Face masks played a fundamental role in regulating the social and ritual life of the Dan people of Côte d'Ivoire. « Each mask was considered to be an individual with its own name, and was the embodiment of a specific spirit » (Eberhard Fischer, Les Maîtres de la sculpture de Côte d’Ivoire, Quai Branly Museum, Paris, 2015, page 108).
These masks were neither representations of ancestors nor portraits. Instead, they acted as intermediaries bridging the human world and the realm of spirits. They served as agents of control, ensuring order and harmony within villages.
A very similar type of Dan mask is illustrated on the first plate of the seminal publication Primitive Negro Sculpture by Paul Guillaume & Thomas Munro (Harcourt Brace & Co., New York, 1926, fig. 1), and is part of the Barnes Foundation collection in Philadelphia.

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