Dan Mask, Ivory Coast
H: 22 cm (8,7″), W: 13,5 cm (5,3″)
A fine Dan Mask with circular eyes, arched brows and a pierced mouth with prominent lips. The mask is encircled by three grooved borders and the edge of the mask is pierced for attachment of costume. It has a fine dark brown aged patina. Despite visible signs of avid use it is in very good condition.
These masks are called runner masks, “running juju”. They are widespread among the northern Dan (because of the dry area they are mostly used there). Worn by the fastest runner of the village, they are supposed to warn the inhabitants and to call for help in case a fire breaks out.
Age: Est. beg. – mid. 20th Century
Provenance: Danish private collection
Literature: Fischer, Eberhard, Himmelheber, Hans, Die Kunst der Dan, Museum Rietberg, Zürich 1976.
Schädler, Karl-Ferdinand, Kunst der Elfenbeinküste, München 2001, p. 60