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Lot n° 8

Dan beak mask Ivory Coast / Liberia Wood with...

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Dan beak mask Ivory Coast / Liberia Wood with slightly crusty patina H. 28 cm Dan mask with a beak Ivory Coast / Liberia H. 11 in Provenance : - European private collection Originally from western Sudan, the Dan people live in the mountainous regions of northwest Côte d'Ivoire and northeast Liberia. Their reputation as woodcarvers is closely linked to the production of masks and large ceremonial spoons. Carving talent is considered a true gift, transmitted through dreams. The most respected artists are entitled to the title of zo (master). Uniting man and animal in a single whole, this mask is a perfect example of Dan sculptural talent. The animal elements introduce a supernatural aspect. The protruding forehead surmounts outstretched eyes. The long, subtly curved beak reveals two rows of teeth. It's possible that this beak evokes that of the toucan. In cosmogony, this is one of the first beings of creation. The work shows a beautiful, slightly crusty patina. A similar mask, published in the book Tribes of the Liberian Hinterland (Peabody Museum, 1947), is described as a judge's mask, involved in conflict resolution. Hybrid and fascinating, this work stands out among the vast range of Dan masks.

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