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Dan Guerre Guere Passport Mask Liberia African Art

Product #: 127419
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Title Dan Guerre Guere Passport Mask Liberia African Art
Type of Object Face mask
Country of Origin Liberia
People Dan, Guere
Materials Wood, pigment , vegetal fiber, horns
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 6.5 Inches
Width: 3 Inches
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.


Additional information: Miniature masks often called "passport" masks are found among the various peoples of Liberia and Ivory Coast, including the Dan, Yacouba, Gio, Wenion (We, Guere), Geh, Loma, Konor, and Bete. This one is from the Dan people.


Sharing a wide variety of uses they are the personal masks of initiated adult men and would be carried on their person or kept on personal shrines in the home. They carried small "passport" masks in leather pouches when they traveled


Passport masks serve to mark the passage of an initiate into the men's secret society and his elevation into the higher ranks. The small masks may be presented at meetings of senior members of the men's society to indicate their right to be present and participate in the deliberations.


Diviner’s would recommend that small masks be given to children to wear to ward off evil witches or cure illnesses. Small masks placed on shrines would receive the offerings and prayers of their owners and in time would accumulate a rich patina of different substances that could obscure their features.


Most of these miniature masks mirror the shape and features of the larger masks that they were modeled after. Like the full-sized dance masks the smaller masks reflect the great diversity of styles and forms of the larger masks.


For more information, and a similar example, see Bacquart's "TRIBAL ARTS OF AFRICA."