A Dan Mahou mask
A Dan Mahou mask from the Man region, village Touba. Ivory Coast, close to Liberia; called ‘Gegon’, a long beak carved out from the same piece, a large nose with prominent nostrils, framed by crescent-shaped almond eyes, a slightly domed forehead, zoomorphic tapering ears, above the forehead ornamental patterns; reddish-brown patina, partly encrusted, traces of age and ritual use. Provenance Mohamed Belo Garba.
Masked dancers who perform with masks such as the present one wear a full body costume made of fabric and plant fibres, as well as a helmet-like crest embellished with a décor of cowries and feathers on their head. The mask figure known as ‘Gegon' dances for entertainment in the villages of the northern Dan or plays the role of a guardian in the initiation camps in the ‘bush’. The present ‘Gegon’ beak mask has remnants of encrusted sacrifications, in particular on the top and on the cheeks.
Lit.: Eberhard Fischer and Hans Himmelheber: The Arts of the Dan in West Africa, Museum Rietberg, Zürich, 1984; Eberhard Fischer: Dan Artists: The Sculptors Tame, Si, Tompieme and Sõn- Their Personalities and Work, Zurich, 2014; Lorenz Homberger (Hrsg.): Masken der Wè und Dan Elfenbeinküste. Die Sammlung des Schweizer Malers Charles Hug, Paris 1928-31 mit einem Beitrag zum Maskenwesen der Wè von Hans Himmelheber, Zürich, 1997.
700 - 900,- Euro
Height: 30 cm
Weight: 900 g