|Title||Dan Deangle Mask Red Fabric Liberia African Art|
|Type of Object||Mask|
|Country of Origin||Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia|
|Materials||Wood, cotton? fabric, metal|
|Approximate Age||Mid 20th century|
|Dimensions||Height: 7.5 Inches
Width: 5.25 Inches
Depth: 3.5 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||Cracks, chips in back of mask.|
Additional Information: This Dan Deangle mask is creative, yet it displays classic features: narrow eyes under a raised brow, protruding lips and angular nose. Atop the head is a unique decorative hairstyle. The red pigment face is created with a strip of red fabric, and it represents a bit of a departure from the known forms and it gives a unique character. This mask shows signs of ritual importance and much handling.
Famous for their masks, the Dan believe that spirits, known as "Du," live in the 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 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. This mask, with its oval shape, used dark surface and bold carved features is called Deangle or Tangle. Thought to portray a female, it dances in a style thought to be feminine, with gliding steps and graceful movements. Deangle dances for all to see as "she" entertains and instructs the village in peaceful pursuits. Each Deangle mask reflects the skill of the artist and taste of the patron, and while local variations occur, there are long established criteria for Deangle that reflect a continuum in Dan cultural aesthetics and styles.
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 Himmelhaber: "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)