West Africa, Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire, Dan peoples, ca. mid-20th century. A fascinating example of a gagon (bird) mask, hand-carved from wood, with applied textiles around the hair line and under the eyes. The eyes have applied tin strips that give them a reflective appearance. Sewn onto the hairline is a large selection of shells, and applied below the nose is a mustache that appears to be made from coarse fur - possibly antelope. While the rest of the face is generally human, the mouth is an elongated beak full of burned tin strips to form rows of spiky, rectangular teeth. This is a fine example of a spirit mask focusing on the bird, believed in Dan cosmology to be the first being that Zla, the creator god, made. Size: 6.95" W x 11" H (17.7 cm x 27.9 cm)
Provenance: Adeon Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA, acquired prior to 1970
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