Africa Direct
Africa Direct

We (Wee) or Kran Bird Mask White Face Liberia African Art

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Title We (Wee) or Kran Bird Mask White Face Liberia African Art
Type of Object Face Mask
Country of Origin Liberia
People We, Wee-Kran or Dan
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age Mid 20th Century
Dimensions Height: 20 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.
Damage/Repair N/A

Additional Information: The animal represented by this mask is a bit mysterious. The high cheeks and prominent forehead are a typical feature of monkey masks from the Dan. The long beak doesn't resemble a bird persay, but it could be. Triangular eyes and a white face pigment give this mask a unique and interesting character. The geometric structure on this mask is unique and make this object a delightful piece of art.

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.

Masks in Dan Villages”, African Arts, II, no. 2, 1978. pp. 16-23, 94