Tribal art > African mask > Dan mask
Dan Gunyeya "racing" mask (N° 21505)
An actor of the social order, the African Dan mask would, according to Eberhard Fisher, be of the female or male type. The almond-shaped face, with protruding, full lips, is pierced by large circular eyes. Abraded patina of use, erosions, grainy matte areas.
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The masks equipped with round orbits ( named gunyeya or gunye ge), facilitating vision, are part of the mask set of the Northern Dan and are used for racing events in the dry season. As for the zapkei ge , equipped with a gaze highlighted with red textile pierced with circular orbits, they are responsible for preventing fires by watching over domestic fires. They are worn accessorized with caps, braids, textile cape and raffia, the most prestigious of them being the go ge , royal mask reserved for exceptional events. The "déanglé" known as the mockingbird, with wrinkled eyes, embodying an ideal of beauty, plays an active role between the initiation camp and the village.
Piece from the vast Mercier collection which was started at the beginning of the 20th century by Guy, consultant for the Solvay group. While he travelled to West and Central Africa as part of his work, and collected works in situ, the majority of his collection came from the "cabinets of curiosity" that abounded in European capitals during the 1920s. It also comes from prestigious galleries (Paris, Brussels, London, New York).
ref. Art of Sub-Saharan Africa" C. Mullen Kreamer; "Tribal Art of Black Africa" J.B. Bacquart.