MASSIVE! Ivory Coast BAULE BAUOLE DAN TRIBAL AFRICAN CEREMONIAL HELMET MASK

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Vendeur: enfinity8 (248) 100%, Lieu où se trouve: Denver, Colorado, Lieu de livraison: US et de nombreux autres pays, Numéro de l'objet: 132395532764 Dimensions: Approximately 14" Deep x 14" Tall x 12" **COMING** Tall (White Squares are 1" x 1") Masks are the most important art form of the Dan. Many of the other forms of sculpture are derived from the mask and what the mask symbolizes. Numerically, more masks are created than any other form of sculpture. Spiritually, masks are perceived to embody the most powerful of spirit forces. Socially, masks are the means of bringing control and order to village life. Masks provide the strongest impressions of a young Dan person's earliest experience, as their importance is reinforced by their presence at all significant events. Masks are empowered by the strongest of supernatural spirit forces, called gle. Like dii, gle inhabit the dark forest, particularly where the trees grow high and dense. Gle long to enter into and participate in the ordered world of the village but, being invisible, cannot until a visible form for each is made. The nature of that form, a mask and complete masquerade ensemble meant to represent the personality of the gle, is seen in a dream. In addition, the gle must reveal its intended function in the dream or that dream is considered useless. The dreamer, who must be an initiated member of the men's society, reports the dream to the council of elders. They then decide whether the masquerade ensemble should be created for that man to wear and perform. The carver carves the wooden face, and this is accompanied by attire that includes forest materials such as raffia, feathers, and fur. It is believed that each gle has its own personality, character, dance, speech patterns, likes, and dislikes, and it is given a personal name. The wearer of the mask takes on all these characteristics and qualities when he wears the mask ensemble. Having come from the unknown realm of the dark forest, a gle is thought to be unpredictable. Therefore it always has an attendant with it to control it as well as to interpret its speech. The 350,000 Dan live mostly in the western part of the Côte d’Ivoire and into Liberia, where the land is forested in the south and bordered by a savannah in the north. They make their living from farming cocoa, coffee, rice and manioc. They also live off game and fish. The Dan have the reputation of being fierce warriors, always battling their neighbors, the We, the Guro, and the Mano. From a cultural viewpoint the Dan are close to the We populations situated in forest regions of the south, and against whom they have waged innumerable wars. Lacking a central authority, the various groups had neither a political institution nor unity. The village is under authority of a chief and a council of elders. In addition, there were male associations that attempted to bring about a socio-political unity, reinforcing rules of behavior, demanding absolute loyalty and obedience from members, and giving an initiatory education to the young. These societies called upon the tutelary spirits of the bush. The most powerful, even today, is the secret society of the leopard, the go, which, without having fully achieved its stabilizing and unifying goal, nevertheless grows from one year to the next. The leopard society acts as a major regulator of Dan life and initiates young men during their isolated periods of three to four months in the forest. In order to attain adult status, all the boys and girls of the same age-group undergo an initiation that includes, in addition to specific teaching, circumcision for the former and clitoridectomy for the latter. To underline the transitional aspect of this trial, it takes place in the world of the bush – the realm inhabited by spirits who, like the ancestors, can play a mediating role between humans and supreme being Zran. Dan people have achieved notoriety for their entertainment festivals, which were village ceremonies, but are today performed largely for important visitors. During these festivals, masked performers dance on stilts. The go master, the head of the like-named society possesses the masks and guards them in a sacred hut. All Dan masks are sacred; they do not represent spirits of the wilderness, they are these spirits. Dan masks are characterized by a concave face, a protruding mouth, high-domed forehead and are often covered in a rich brown patina. There are a variety of Dan face masks, each of which has a different function. They may be the intermediaries, who acts between the village and the forest initiation camp, may act against bush fires during the dry season, used in pre-war ceremonies, for peace-making ceremonies, for entertainment. Over time, many among them have lost their original function and have been recycled into contexts related to entertainment, emerging only for festivals or events organized for visitors. Nonetheless, the great masks live on, their even more rare appearances being reserved for times of tension, when it is important they may exercise their role of social control and their faculty to reduce conflict or settle legal wrangles. The Dan also carried small masks (less than 8”), which are sometimes called ‘passport’ masks. They were sewn onto a piece of cloth and kept in a leather pouch and possibly worn in the small of the back. They are miniature copies of a family mask and sometimes received libations. These masks also act as witnesses during initiation ceremonies and protect the owner when he is away from home. Dan masks are the real treasures of African art tradition, ranging in their expressive powers from gentle tenderness to fierce aggression. The Dan statues are not representation of ancestors or spirits. These figures, which were commissioned by powerful chiefs as three-dimensional portraits of their favorite spouses function as maternity figures with babies on their back. They are kept hidden inside houses and are only revealed during important occasions such as visits by foreign dignitaries. A woman who has distinguished herself through her hospitality and generosity will own a superb spoon of sculpted wood. This is a custom specific to the Dan. This woman’s role, in the heart of the village, is to receive and feed travelers, musicians participating in celebrations, and men who have come to help clear the fields. The spoon possesses the power to make one rich and famous and confers a sure authority over the other women. The spoons have several shapes: the most usual one has a handle fashioned after a human head, comparable to certain masks; others have handles that form pairs of legs. The carvers also produce chiefs' staffs and female figures that seem to be prestige items, as are small figures cast in brass. The Dan people live in the region of the border between the western Ivory Coast / Cote d'Ivoire / Elfenbeinküste and Liberia. The Dan create idealized representations of the human face. The mask is never meant to portray a specific individual. Therefore some Dan masks are very refined and also admired by many non-African people. Some Dan masks remain in one family for generations. The Dan consider mask-making an important art form and an integral part of their life. Masking ceremonies have three different functions: bringing spirits to life,social control and instruction, and entertainment. The dancer transforms into the spirit he represents and enables communication between the spirit world and the material world to take place. Masks made by the Dan are generally divided into two categories, feminine and masculine. Feminine masks have slit eyes and painted faces (Gle Mu, Deangle); during ceremonies, the mask dancer act gracefully and harmlessly. Masculine masks have large round eyes and often a beard (Gle Gon). Typical for Dan masks are their large high-domed forehead fine nose smooth and shiny black or dark brown surface Dan masks with circular eyes are presented on p. 95 of Roy Sieber and Roslyn Adele Walker African Art in the Cycle of Life. exh. cat. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press 1987 and reprinted afterwards ISBN 0874748216 155 pp. The Dan and their art are described in a chapter of the book Jacques Kerchache, Jean-Louis Paudrat, Lucien Stephan, L'art et les grandes civilizations: L'art africain. Paris : Editions Mazenod, 1988, 620 pp. "The Dan people classify surroundings into two realms - the village with all inhabitants (human realm), and the forest (bon) (spirit realm) where the spirits reign, and wild animals roam freely. The forest is regarded as sacred, and crossing the boundary between the human realm, and the spirit realm, may only be done by saying a prayer and wearing materials from both worlds. This creates a link between the two realms. Dan masks are normally made of hard wood and cloth, with cowry shell decor. Masks is an integral part of social life, ceremonies and rituals. Masks are grouped into categories: the feminine mask, Gle Mu, and the masculine mask, Gle Gon. The feminine masks are characterized by an oval, pointed face, and feature slit-like eyes, a high forehead, slender nose, and a smooth patina. They are known for their calm, abstract beauty, and during ceremonies, the mask dancer act gracefully and harmlessly. The feminine mask's facial features includes a smooth patina, and strong aesthetic ideals of the Dan people. Masculine mask type, the Kagle, or "hooked stick", main function - was to prepare men spiritually for war. As of late, the mask is used to enable men to give vent to anger and frustration they might have. The Dan people believe a mask dancer is transformed into a spirit. The mask dancer goes into a trance during rituals and bring forth messages of wisdom from his forebears . The message is inaudible and in uncontrollable utters. A wise man that accompany the dancer during the ritual translates the messages. Masks are made and worn exclusively, by male dancers. Dan masks are only carved by initiated members of the male Poro society. Young boys enter training at a young age and remain at the training camp for several years, until they are initiated as adults into society. These initiated males are visited in their dreams by a spirit who wants to be given a bodily form. Following the dream, the adult male has to give life to the spirit, in the form of a mask. Before the actual carving process the adult male cleanse himself, then sets off to the forest. He selects an appropriate tree and say a pray to the spirit of the tree, before choosing a single piece of wood, big enough for his carving. When he reaches his village, he commence with the carving. On completion of the mask, he carefully plans the song, music and dance, that is to accompany the masking ceremony. The mask will remain in the family and community for years, and will eventually be passed down through the generations." (cited from the WWW site created by Rebirth African art and craft, Cape Town, South Africa) "The Dan live in Liberia and the Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire). While they lacked a cohesive central government, identity as a Dan was fostered by a shared language and intermarriage within the language group. Today men make their living at wage work in the diamond camps or working at the rubber plantations instead of the more traditional farming and hunting. What has remained is the demonstration of success through the competition by young men to see who can spend more lavishly at community feasts. The Dan place a high value on the individual’s ability to succeed and consider such demonstrations of wealth as proof of achievements. The Dan’s worldview believes in a distinction between bush and village. This dualism of bush and village is pervasive in Africa, although the forms by which it is expressed vary from place to place. The underlying notion is that the world consists of two complementary spheres: one a wild, chaotic, uncontrolled, exuberant region (or nature); the other an ordered, controlled, measured, predictable domain (or culture), the human world of the village. The Poro society, which is found in some form throughout the western coast of Africa, is the most important mask-using group. In carving Poro masks the sculptor seeks to create a sense of rhythm by contrasting convex and concave surfaces, a contrast that can be emphasized by color variations and the differing textures of added elements -- bells, medicine bags, animal horns, etc. Only initiates of the Poro society are permitted to wear such masks. The masks function to bring to the initiates a sense of their second birth as members of the Poro society. Masks are present at public functions and life crisis ceremonies. The nyon néa wears a conical-shaped hat on top of her smooth oval face. The features of the néa are expressive of the ideals of beauty and serenity. The high, bulging forehead, prominent cheekbones and symmetrical mouth are all features seen in the young women of the area. A male counterpart, the nyon hiné, accompanies the female nyon néa. The nyon hiné has a black face that is half human and half animal and wears a cylindrical headdress adorned with cowrie shells. An interpreter and orchestra accompany the masks. Although deconsecrated today and viewed by all villagers, these masks still evoke the beginning and end of a cycle. The festival in which these masks are used takes place right after the rice harvest. The presence of the hiné and néa masks during the relative prosperity after the harvest symbolizes the success of the people in dealing with the negative effects of uncontrolled nature." Condition: See photos!, Color: Dark Wood Tone, Maker: Hand Crafted by Dan Tribal Artisians, Material: hardwood, cloth headcover, Original/Reproduction: Original, Tribe: Dan

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