Tribal art > African mask > Dan mask
Dan mask (N° 18373)
African mask of Côte d'Ivoire distinguished by its circular eyes surrounded by metal surrounded by orbits engraved in the heart. The lips are trimmed with metal sticks evoking teeth. This so-called 'race' mask (sharp face, hollowed-out round eyes, tanned mouth) was held against the face with cotton strips attached to the perforations of the contours and knotted behind the head. Tradition has it that its wearer is pursued by an unmasked runner; if he is caught, he must pass the mask to the winner, who in turn will be pursued by another rider. These races were once designed to train men in running and fighting. This type of event is now very often linked to the holidays announcing the beginning of the dry season and those related to the initiation of young children. Glossy black brown patina. Erosions on the contours. Height on a base: 37 cm.
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Pièce from Jean Charles Mercier's extensive collection, which was started at the beginning of the 20th century by his grandfather Guy, a consultant for the Solvay Group. While radiating in West and Central Africa as part of his work, and collecting in-situ works, the majority of his collection is nevertheless derived from Curiosity cabinets which abounded in European capitals during the 1920s. It also comes from prestigious galleries (Paris, Brussels, London, New York). An entertainment mask of Dan's populations in northwestern Côte d'Ivoire known as Yacouba, he also sometimes meets as a messenger when the young boys are circumcised. Some of the Dan's masks, by their neighbourhood with the Wé of Liberia (named Kran), in addition to the contribution of the tribes of Guinea, were marked by the influence of the latter. The functions of their various masks, eleven types according to Fisher (1978), can also evolve over time. All Dan masks are sacred. They do not represent the spirits of the bush but are these spirits.