N9D6M135S.jpg (27041 bytes)n9d6m135.jpg (29233 bytes)Dan (Gio, Gioh, Gyo,Yacouba, Yakuba), Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia

Face ceremonial mask. The 350,000 Dan live in northeastern Liberia and northwestern Côte d’Ivoire, in regions covered by forest in the south and savannas in the north. They make their living mostly from farming cocoa, rice and manioc. They also live off game hunting and fishing. For them the mask is the channel of communication with the high god Zlan. The intermediaries in these communications are the spirits of the ancestors who are invoked through the mask. The masks fulfill a variety of social, political, and religious functions. The masks of this type were used by the poro secret society. They are associated with the circumcision camps for adolescent boys. They are also danced for entertainment during village festivals, which were historically village ceremonies, but are today performed largely for important visitors.

Material:  wood

Size:  H.17”, W. 7”, D. 3 ½”