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Dean Gle Mask

Traditional Dan society vested political leadership in a council of elders. Masks served as agents of social control, enforcing the council's rules and orders. The specific functions of individual masks are impossible to determine once removed from their village contexts. Nevertheless, in this case the nearly closed eyes and small mouth contrast with those of other masks, and probably indicate that this mask served in a peacemaking capacity and generally created harmony in a community.

Catalogue Description:
Oval shaped with full lips that are arched, delicate nose with slightly flared nostrils, and coffee bean shaped slit eyes. Forehead is rounded and has a median ridge. Eyes are rimmed in thin line of white pigment that extends to bridge of nose. The rim of the mask is pierced for attachments. The entire surface has a deep rich brown glossy patina. The entire surface has a deep rich brown glossy patina. Condition: Very good. Surface erosion, particularly on forehead area and on rim as a result of wear and use. There are 4 small openings in upper lip where metal teeth (no longer present) were inserted; the fifth opening on right still has the tooth.


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