Dan Deangle masks are very popular

Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast

Q:  I got this mask from an antique dealer who told me it was from the Ivory Coast but I can’t find too may with the beard. 11″ tall x 7″ wide.  Wood has smooth finish on the front and unfinished back.  12 holes in the back. Leather patches under the eyes. Any help would be great. Thad, 813

A: There are regional variations among the masks of the Dan people who live in the western part of Ivory Coast and eastern Liberia, but they are generally characterized by a concave face, a pointed chin, a protruding mouth, an upturned nose and a high-domed forehead. Most people would call this a Deangle mask. There are similar masks that have round, wide-open eye holes that are called “racer” masks. Used principally in performance for tourists, these various masks had traditional functions ranging from entertainment to initiation to social control. This particular example shows no evidence of age or use and could have been made to be sold. But I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of authenticity if we could establish that the patches under the eyes were native repairs. Of course, the trim is new.  B

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