Serene Dan Deangle Dance Mask from Ivory Coast

Serene Dan Deangle Dance Mask from Ivory Coast

In Dan tribal culture, Gle are strong spiritual forces that inhabit the dark forest but long to enter the civilized environs of the village.

They are typically genderless, but manifest feminine or masculine attributes in the masks that they inspire initiated carvers to create for village ceremonies.

This classic form featuring an oval face, narrow eyes outlined with white kaolin (which is used as a cosmetic for  special ceremonies), and the high smooth forehead represents idealized feminine beauty. This Gle is a gentle and peaceful spirit who entertains via stilt dancing, teaches and nurtures young boys during initiation rites and acts as liaison between them and their mothers at this time. The Deangle is known as a bit of a trickster and can perform a bit of comic relief during more serious circumstances.

This sensitively carved mask measures 9 inches high x 6 inches across x 1 inch deep. It was collected in the early 1980s in Ivory Coast, West Africa. It has been in my collection for over three decades.