Bassa (Basa), Liberia
Geh-naw ceremonial mask. The Bassa territory lies in the middle of present-day Liberia.
Their economy is based on rice which they cultivate around small villages with the
population around two hundred. Like other neighboring tribes, the Bassa have several male
and female societies.Bassa artistic tradition has been influenced by their northeastern
neighbors, the Dan. With graceful, gliding dances the geh-naw masqueraders
entertain the spectators when initiated boys return from bush camp, when important guests
visit the village, and on other festive occasions. The dancer wears the mask, which is
attached to a woven framework, on his forehead.
The mask is intended to convey a sense of grace and serenity.
H. 9½, L. 5, W. 4½