African Tribal Art: Dan People, Liberia: A rare anthropomorphic mask with a combination of human and bird features. Carved wood with elaborately braided fiber hair, the human-like face has a tubular eyes and a defined nose, above a fanciful curved beak and protruding, hummingbird-like tongue. The beak is studded with brass upholstery tacks. The mask has an overall black/brown patina, and it's age is estimated as 19th/20th century. It comes with a custom-made steel display stand.
Dan masks embody spirits of the forest who request (through dreams) that masks be made so they can "appear" before the people. A bird mask is considered a harbinger of good luck, and the inclusion of white (metal) on the mask reinforces that message.
Approx. 16H x 9W x 10D, 20.5H on stand (inches).
Private Collection, Massachusetts, Private Collection, New York
Good condition with evidence of use and age.
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