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Dan Passport Mask Deangle Liberia African Art Collection

$95.00
Product #: 128432
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Title Dan Passport Mask Deangle Liberia African Art Collection
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Liberia
People Dan
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 4 Inches
Width: 2.5 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:  These masks are 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.  


Recommended Reading:


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)


Provenance: 


From the Collection of Robert Pearson, Denver, Colorado


Bob Pearson began collecting African art later in his life.  He was an engineer, inveterate climber, and long-time collector of books and paintings.  Spurred by the Douglas Society at the Denver Museum of Art, and his friendship with noted collector George Heggarty, he began building an enormous, eclectic collection. His African art library grew to several hundred books.  He loved textiles and “material culture”-things which had domestic use, like spoons, cups, stools, and chairs, as well as masks and carvings.  His collection included items from more than thirty African countries, and his fine eye gave him pieces ranging from a golddust scale to huge Dogon figural ladders.  Africa Direct is honored to have been chosen to sell them.