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Bird Mask (with teeth) Dan People, Liberia

Regular price $5,000.00

Dan People, Liberia: Mask in the form of the abstracted face of a bird, whose open beak is lined with teeth. Carved wood with an overall dark stained patina, with lighter teeth, eyes and incised lines on the upper beak defined by kaolin clay pigment. The periphery of the mask is incised with holes for costume attachment. A bent nail (reportedly used for hanging the mask during storage) is at the crown of the head. Late 19th/early 20th century.

In Dan society, forest spirits are translated into the forms of human face masks. The masks send a dream to male performers, instructing them on how to dance it.

Performances of Dan masks may span the careers of many generations of wearers, contributing to their increasingly sacred status.

Dimensions: 13H x 6.25W x 7.5D (inches)

Provenance: From the private collection of a Massachusetts Gentleman.