The Dan are a sub-tribe-owned Dan Nguer. They live in eastern Liberia, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire. The basic social and spiritual Dan-Nguer is the secret society Poro, meaning language Temma “Sierra”. Dan masks are characterized Nguer-so with their varieties, such as the fact that the same kind of mask can be used in different areas for different purposes. Dan masks are known by women the importance they attribute to the beauty of the face: the oval, slightly prominent forehead, eyes torn, the nose and mouth ajar. They enhance the sharpness of its lines with a brilliant sheen introduced into the timber, using herbal substances. When they dry, they take a soft color, which looks like with the use lacquer. The function of these masks is to resolve disputes and protect newborns. The Dan are generally replicas of the masks, which they call “my” for worship and as protection against disease. They remain hidden and are used as proof of membership in the Poro society, becoming almost as sacred objects, by honoring them with offerings of rice and palm oil, and sacrifice in times of full moon. The face masks Dan male is more realistic, and sometimes with details of animals. It has the vital force, called “the” Zlan sent by the creator of men and animals. The “of” are numerous, and they tell people in a dream how they want to be represented. Sometimes they want a fetish, or plant a tree, but they can also request a form to reside. So the spirit materializes and turns into a “rule” and may be directly involved in community life. Each “rule” has its function, and chairs various social events. They are also present in moments of danger or distraction. That’s why there is a wide variety of Dan masks.
|Dimensions||17 × 33 cm|
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