The Dan produce elaborate, beautifully carved spoons. Though these are occasionally used to distribute food at large feasts, the spoons serve primarily as symbols of a woman's respected position in her community. The carved head of a woman on the handle sometimes depicts the owner but more often is a stylized image of the Dan ideal of feminine beauty: pointed oval face, high forehead, narrow eyes, thin nose ridge with flaring nostrils, and full mouth. The hairstyle refers to the special grooming of persons high status.
Carved handle in shape of face and neck. Face has typical Dan features: vertical scarification mark at forehead, crescent eyebrows, slit eyes, partially opened mouth with teeth exposed. Three metal studs at forehead. Headdress with 3 flat projecting elements and below vertically incised raised and depressed areas. Thick, slightly rounded neck. Bowl approx. 2/3 of carving, the back of which has incised and relief carving in lozenge and parallelogram shapes. Condition: very good.