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Dan We Guere Mask Monkey Liberia African Art 21 Inch

Product #: 111372
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Title Dan We Guere Mask Monkey Liberia African Art 21 Inch
Type of Object Masks
Country of Origin Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia
People Dan / We , Wee, Guere
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age Mid 20th century
Dimensions Height: 21 Inches
Width: 10 Inches
Depth: 12.5 Inches
Overall Condition poor
Damage/Repair repair above left eye. cracked, chipped and pitted surface. cracks, stains

Additional Information:  A powerful mask with a highly expressive face with bulging forehead, a large open mouth with teeth and a bulging forehead.  This fascinating  powerful mask comes from the We, Dan or Kran peoples. It displays a fearsome visage with jagged teeth and shows significant age.  This  is a powerful mask that 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)