Image Gallery → Growing Up

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Face Mask

Face Mask (deangle)

Dan People, Liberia
Face Mask (deangle)
Wood, pigment, fabric, beads, cowrie shells, metal
Museum purchase, funds provided by Michael A.
Singer
2001.17

Deangle, a masquerade performed by Dan and Mano men, appears in ceremonies for male initiation societies in which it plays the role of a nurturing and joyful maternal figure. With its slanted eyes covered by a white band of pigment, softly modeled features, tattooed forehead, and chiseled teeth, it incorporates the characteristics of ideal feminine beauty. The crown, adorned with cowries and plastic beads, recalls the beading that enhances the coiffures and bodies of women. The colors red and white relate to the powers of the spirit, or gle, embodied by the mask.

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