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African Masks - Dan Guerre Mask

African art and masks of the Dan people. The Dan tribe chiefly inhabit the Ivory Coast and Liberia where they arrived in the eighth century B.C. The Guerre (also Gwere, or Ngere) tribe live nearby in the southwest corner of the Ivory Coast. These 2 groups have enjoyed a friendly relationship and their artistic styles have intermingled. This Dan mask, incorporates elements from both styles, and would have been used to initiate young males into manhood. Dan mythology separates the world into 2 separate spheres: the sphere of the village and the sphere of the forest. When a Dan boy reaches the age of 16, he must venture forth from his safe village environment into the hazardous and unpredictable forest. There he must prove his courage by hunting Africa's most dangerous animals using only a spear. When the village elders are convinced of his courage, he is initiated into manhood in ceremonies using this mask. This particular Dan Guerre Mask is from the Ivory Coast and features large cowrie shells topping the forehead with a cow's tail on the back. It is 26 long wide by 11 inches, and would be worn with a full suit of raffia.



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African Traditional art from the Dan Tribe - African Mask

African Traditional art from the Dan Tribe - African Mask

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