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An unusual Northern Dan(?) zoomorphic mask

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Pre 1910: item # 1185195

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michael cichon tribal arts
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An unusual Northern Dan(?) zoomorphic mask
The bush pig, found in the forested regions of West Africa, most likely spawned the use of this type of zoomorphic face mask among the Northern Dan peoples. This animal was the preferred food source at one time in areas free of Muslim influence. However, this mask might have been part of Islamized peoples who used it during masquerades celebrating the end of ramadan, much like the 'do' society warthog masks made by the Ligbi in Ivory Coast. Originally tagged as 'Toma tribe, Guinea, Africa' by the late Peter Pollack, and it is said the mask is late 19th century. It measures 9"H. It originally had natural pig bristles attached, but most have fallen away, though a few remain. The face is quite encrusted yet and shows the use of European metal eye surrounds in more typical fashion.


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