TITLE: Dan Geayagle
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Africa
COUNTRY: Côte d’Ivoire
DESCRIPTION: Geayagle (Bird Mask)
CATALOG ID: AFCI007
CEREMONY: Celebration; Entertainment
AGE: Late 20th century
MAIN MATERIAL: wood
OTHER MATERIALS: pigment; kaolin clay
The Dan people are a large ethnic group inhabiting Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire. They are largely governed by a variety of secret societies that use masquerade to enforce social norms and punish witchcraft and sorcery. Some masks, however, are used for entertainment at important festivals. Animal masks such as this bird mask fall into this category.
For more on Dan masks, see Eberhard Fischer, Dan Forest Spirits: Masks in Dan Villages, AFRICAN ARTS, Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 16-23 (1978).