Skip to Main Content »

You're currently on:

Search Site
 
Click on image above to zoom.

Dan Wee Kran Guerre Mask Bells Liberia African Art Collection

$1,250.00
Product #: 128428
US Shipping: $32.98
Add Items to Cart


Title Dan Wee Kran Guerre Mask Bells Liberia African Art Collection
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Liberia
People Dan, Wee, Kran or Guere
Materials Wood, pigment , vegetal fiber, metal
Approximate Age Early 20th Century
Dimensions Height: 14 Inches
Width: 7 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: The Wee have been variously known in the past as the Kran in Liberia and the Nguere or Guere in Ivory Coast. Though close in terms of geography and culture to the well-known Dan people in the region they are separated by language (Wee are Kru speakers and the Dan are Mande speakers).


Both the Dan and Wee have dynamic masking associations known as Poro that initiate the young and regulate society. Poro is an exclusively restricted men’s society, however masks between the Wee and their Dan neighbors are divided into male and female categories based on their form and details. Female masks are rounded or oval, narrow eyes and finely delicate non-challenging features, whereas the male mask is larger in size, grosser in proportions, with an open and challenging mouth with teeth, tube-like eyes, fur and raffia. The exaggerated features of this mask, though vaguely human, refer to forces in the bush whose energy and powers add to the authority of the spirit represented. Whereas female masks appear to entertain, male masks exercise social control, punishing wrongdoers, settling disputes, declaring wars and proclaiming peace. In the past they are also said to have been in the bush camps when the boys were being initiated. Wee masks like this were meant to instill fear through their appearance combining human and animal features and remembrance of the masks’s aggressive behavior in the past.


Recommended Reading: Kerchache's ART OF AFRICA


 


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.