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Dan We Guere Mask with Three Monkeys Liberia African Art

Regular Price: $1,200.00

Special Price: $490.00

Product #: 100858
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Title Dan We Guere Mask with Three Monkeys Liberia Africa
Country of Origin Cote d'Ivoire, or Liberia
People Dan / We , Wee, Guere
Materials Wood, studs, pigment
Approximate Age Mid-20th century
Dimensions 31.5 inches H. x 10 inches W. x 7.5 inches D
Overall Condition Good. 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 scraped and worn patina, shallow cracks, chips, scuffs; see pictures for details.

Additional Information:  Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

A powerful mask with a highly expressive face, a bulging forehead, and a mouth showing teeth.  This fascinating  mask comes from the We, Dan, or Kran peoples.  The present mask features a chimpanzee-like face with very fearsome details including a domed forehead and concave face. The three wise monkey figures on top add to the dramatic expression of this mask.

This well-used example of We, Dan or Kran masks is an interesting piece with a strong symbolism.  Its very uniqueness combined with its size and quality of carving argues for a place in a major collection.  The  mask shows signs of long use and excellent age.  The masks of the We and Kran and their relatives, the Dan, continue to fascinate art-lovers around the world.  This  is a powerful mask that will be well placed in a collection.  This mask belongs to the category of  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.

 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)