Bu Gle Mask with Cowrie Shell Coiffure, Dan Tribe, Liberia

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Wood carved mask with cowrie shell coiffure attached to woven fabric.

The Dan are farming people inhabiting western Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia. Their great number of masked figures represent spirits and fulfill a variety of functions making masks the most important art form of the Dan people. Gle is both the name for masks and for spirits. Gle can be divided into two categories: dean gle, which is a peaceful gle whose qualities are thought of as feminine; and bu gle, which is the war gle whose qualities are thought to be masculine. Bugle masks are designed to frighten with boldly projecting angles of the face.

Acquired from the estate of Jacques Gansler

Dimensions: Length 14 inches; Width 9 inches; Depth 4.5 inches