Skip to Main Content »

You're currently on:

Search Site
Click on image above to zoom.

Dan Guere Mask Warthog Snout Liberia African Art 23 Inch

Product #: 114601
US Shipping: $49.98
Add Items to Cart

Title Dan Guere Mask Warthog Snout Liberia African Art 23 Inch
Country of Origin Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia
People Dan or Guere-Wee(We)
Materials Wood, cotton cloth, vegetal fiber, leather, iron nails
Approximate Age Mid 20th century
Dimensions Height: 23.5 Inches
Width: 10 Inches
Depth: 11.5 Inches
34 inches tall with beard strands
Overall Condition fair to good
Damage/Repair cracks at base of tusks. dirty, worn surfaces. rusted and tarnished metal

Additional Information:  A very expressive portrait mask with long tusks and snout wrapped with leather.  The mask has slit eyes and a distinct mouth with rectangular teeth.  The figure on top of the mask wears a loin cloth and has an encrusted hairstyle.  The surface of this mask shows significant traces of encrustation, which may come from ritual and ceremony, it also has a bite bar and a strap for the head that is rare to still be attached..  This mask is identified as Dan mask, but it could come from the Guere or Wee people.  We do not have further information on the exact use and meaning of this particular piece.  It is very unigue and beautiful.

Representing a Ge, who is a spirit, this mask would serve as a visible symbol manifesting power, principles, and as a "spirit of the bush" to maintain social order, initiate the young and punish wrongdoers. They are used by the men's secret society called Poro-the enforcing arm of local authority.

Recommended Reading:

E. Donner: Kunst und Handwerk in NO-Liberiaí, Baessler-Archiv, xxiii/2-3 (1940), pp. 45-110.

Harley, G.W., Notes on the Poro in Liberia, Papers of the Peabody Museum, Archaeology & Ethnology, XIX, No.2 (Cambridge, MA, 1941)

G. Schwab: Tribes of the Liberian Hinterland, ed. G. W. Harley, Papers Peabody Museum, Archaeology & Ethnology, xxxi (Cambridge, MA, 1947)

Harley, G.W. Masks as Agents of Social Control in Northeast Liberia, Papers of the Peabody Museum, Archaeology & Ethnology, xxxii, No.2 (Cambridge, MA, 1950)

W. Siegmann and Cynthia Schmidt, Rock of the Ancestors, (Suacoco, 1977)

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