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Dan Figural Post with Janus Faces Liberia African Art

$210.00
Product #: 102943
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Title Dan Figural Post with Janus Faces Liberia African Art
Type of Object Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture
Country of Origin Liberia or Ivory Coast
People DAn
Materials wood
Approximate Age 20th Century
Dimensions Height: 13.5 Inches
Width: 5.5 Inches
Depth: 5 Inches
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair small chips and shallow cracks, dirt and general wear


Additional Information: This post comes from the Dan people of north east Liberia or Ivory Coast.  It depicts two faces that are almost identical assembled in janus formation.  The use of this sculpture is unknown, but the faces are very similar to known Dan forms from masks and figures.


The Dan numbering about 350,000, live as farmers in small villages and towns in Northwest Liberia and eastern Ivory Coast. Sculpted female figures among the Dan or Yacuba are commissioned by wealthy or socially prominent men to represent their favored wife. Sometimes sculpted with a baby on their back the figures exemplify the ideas of fertility and continuity of the family. These figures are known as ‘lu me’ or wooden person and can be over 60 centimeters in height. They do not portray ancestors but are stylized portraits of real individuals closely representing the hairstyle, body markings, and physiognomy of the wife. These sculptures are superb examples of Dan sculpture and were often the work of well-known artists who worked in secret away from women and children as they carved the lu me figures. In some instances ‘lu me’ sculptures are made public to the village during a ceremony in which the man who commissioned the carving is recognized and gaining social prestige. These figures may also be kept in small houses and only publicly shown on special occasions.


Recommended Reading:


E. Fischer and Hans Himmelheber; The Arts of the Dan in West Africa, (Zurich, 1984)