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Art Gallery the Eye and the Hand


Image dan


In the also known under the name of Yacub, living in western Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia, in a wooded area south and covered by savannah in the north. At 350000 they live on cocoa cultivation of rice and cassava. Before that secret societies do not unite around the beginning of the century, Dan lived in autonomous villages, headed by a chief elected for its wealth and social position.

Nowadays society Leopard plays a major role in the lives of Dan: Candidates for initiation must pass a period of isolation in the forest three to four months. The dances are known for their festivals which were originally village ceremonies but who today are rather aimed at tourists during these holidays appear dancers often perched on stilts.


Dan masks are characterized by a concave face, pointed chin a protruding mouth, high forehead and are often covered with a rich brown patina, masks of similar types exist throughout the country Dan, but some stylistic variations, can be observed. For example: the masks of the north dan often have delicate features, a high forehead smooth eye in the middle of the face and a very smooth patina obtained by immersing the mask in a mud bath. The masks of southern Dan Rather, protruding features and a grainy patina achieved by application of plant pigments.

Different types of masks exist and Dan each have a specific function.

Deangle the mask is characterized by a front line separated by a median of almond eyes, sometimes covered with kaolin, is worn by the person acting as an intermediary between the village and the camp of initiation.

Tankagle mask worn during certain festivals is quite similar to the mask deangle, it is simply larger and more detailed.

Gunyéya mask, also called race mask a sharp face and eyes circular features, tradition dictates that the wearer is pursued by an unmasked runner: if it is caught it must pass the mask to the winner who will turn continued by another runner. These races had once intended to lead men to the race, and fighting but nowadays it is rather the games.

The mask Zakpai, quite similar to Gunéya differs from it by a red cloth over his eyes glued it acts against forest fires that occur during the dry season.

Bagle mask, has a village lying and concave, a low forehead and eyes tubular worn during the holidays it is intended to amuse the villagers holder throwing objects on the audience and the musicians struck with a curved stick.

The mask Bugle, is characterized by a disproportionately large mouth, a thick, black patina, a row of horn on the forehead and when she is still preserved a high feather headdress, it is used to excite the warriors before hunting and war

Kaoglé mask, with cheeks and eyes of triangular shapes its wearer is supposed to create a joyful atmosphere during the holiday season by throwing sticks at the audience.

The mask Duglas also called "The Cow" high forehead and mouth resembling a huge beak is worn during important ceremonies.

Gagon mask has the same function as the Duglas, but is found mostly in the northern part of the country, it has a high forehead and almond eyes, a large beak-shaped nose which is attached by a piece of fur and a movable jaw.

Glew mask is worn at ceremonies related to peace treaties, large size it is either an elephant head with tubular eyes and high forehead separated by a median line is a human face with exaggerated features.

The mask GB general, belongs to the secret society and is worn only GB to announce the death of a prominent chief his features vary from one village to another, but it is generally large and attached to a hair braid sophisticated form.

The Dan can also wear masks under 20 cm tall called mask, passport, sewn onto a cloth and kept in a pouch or attached to the base of the back of a man. They are generally copies masks family, and may receive libations. These masks play an apotropaic and serve as witnesses in initiation ceremonies.


The statues commissioned by Dan Dan the leaders and representing their favorite wives are quite rare they are about 60cm and are sometimes a child caught in the back. These statues jealously guarded and hidden inside the houses that are shown during the passage of an important dignitary. Since the end of last century blacksmiths Dan create brass statues that are used as objects of prestige they are usually soldiers or people in daily activities.


Collection Armand Auxietre
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