Additional Information: This is a well-carved mask from the We-Kran people who live in the southern part of the Dan region. Such masks are also found among the Dan people. This mask features a chimpanzee-like face with very angular details. This mask is characterized by a domed forehead, triangular eyes, jutting cheeks, a powerful nose, and a protruding and articulate jaw attached with leather.
This mask is called Kaogle and was traditionally associated with warfare. It was also used for judicial and educational ceremonies. Kaogle mask was also used as a dancing mask that served a number of functions in the Poro secret society. Masks like this are referred to as spirits. Today, like most masks still being produced in this territory, they are used primarily for the entertainment of both villagers and tourists.
The surface and the interior of this mask shows sign of long use. The masks of the Dan and their relatives continue to fascinate art-lovers around the world. This mask is a delightful piece of art.
"Masks in Dan Villages”, African Arts, II, no. 2, 1978. pp. 16-23, 94
I have examined this piece and agree with the description.
Niangi Batulukisi, PhD.