|Title||Dan Mask Deangle Bells Singer Custom Stand Liberia Africa|
|Type of Object||N/A|
|Country of Origin||Liberia|
|Materials||Wood, cotton fabric, nails, brass bells|
|Approximate Age||Mid 20th Century|
|Dimensions||Height: 10 Inches
Width: 5.5 Inches
16.5 inches tall on base; 5.25 x 6.25 inch base
|Damage/Repair||old nail holes at left temple. encrustation in lips. some minor chips, stained fabric pieces|
Additional Information: A beautiful mask with the famous protruding lips of the Dan carver. The trader indicated that this mask, with large lips and bells under the chin, represents a singer. The dark patina adds to the mystery expression of this mask. This mask retains all the qualities of a beautiful carved mask from this region. The features are beautifully sculpted with attention to the detailing of pierced eyes, fine nose and prominent mouth. Equipped with a custom stand for immediate display.
This mask is called Deangle or Tangle. Thought to portray a woman 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 long standing Dan cultural aesthetics and styles.
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.
Harley, G.W., Notes on the Poro in Liberia, Papers of the Peabody Museum, Archaeology & Ethnology, XIX, No.2 (Cambridge, MA, 1941)
Harley, G.W. Masks as Agents of Social Control in Northeast Liberia, Papers of the Peabody Museum, Archaeology & Ethnology, xxxii, No.2 (Cambridge, MA, 1950)
E. Fischer and Hans Himmelheber; The Arts of the Dan in West Africa, (Zurich, 1984)