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Dan Figural Dog Faces African Art

Regular Price: $490.00

Special Price: $290.00

Product #: 109985
US Shipping: $29.98
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Title Dan Figural Dog Faces African Art
Type of Object Masks
Country of Origin Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia
People Dan
Materials Wood, pigment, cloth, cowrey shells
Approximate Age Mid 20th century
Dimensions Height: 7 Inches
Width: 8 Inches
Depth: 20 Inches
Overall Condition Fair. 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 Large cracks, encrustation, arrested bug damage, cracks, chips and general wear.


Provenance:  From the collection of Howard Gelb, St. Paul, MN collector of African Art, who was also a businessman, lawyer, and philanthropist. Mr. Gelb died in 2015, at the age of 96.


Additional Information:  A powerful Figural Dog carving with highly expressive faces.  A large mouth with a bulging forehead.  This fascinating  powerful figure comes from the We, Dan or Kran peoples. It displays a fearsome visage with significant age.  This would be well placed in a collection.


The Dan in the past lived in small villages and towns ruling themselves through a complex arrangement of family lineages, men’s secret societies and various initiation ceremonies. Famous for their masks the Dan believe that spirits of the wild known as Du manifest themselves in masks and masquerades to humans instructing and sustaining them in life.  Famous for their masks the Dan believe that spirits, known as Du, live in the untamed forests and manifest themselves to humans in masks and masquerades instructing and sustaining the Dan in life.  When during a dream a male was instructed by a Du to dance a mask, he would commission a carver to make a mask for him.  Among the Dan, masks are grouped in an assortment of forms with different duties assigned to each. 


Recommended Reading: G. Schwab: "Tribes of the Liberian Hinterland," ed. G. W. Harley, Papers Peabody Museum, Archaeology & Ethnology, xxxi (Cambridge, MA, 1947) 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) E. Fischer “Dan Forest Spirits: Masks in Dan Villages”, African Arts, II, no. 2, 1978. pp. 16-23, 94 B. C. Johnson: "Four Dan Sculptors: Continuity and Change," (San Francisco, 1986)