Claes Gallery

Dan Mask
Ivory Coast, late 19th century
H 23 cm
Provenance: Dr. Alexander Rafaeli collection (1910-1996), Israel
Literature: Masks of Primitive Peoples from The Collection of Dr. Alex Rafaeli, written mention p. 6; n° 15; Back cover; Art of Primitive People. Masks from the collection of Dr. Alex Rafaeli. Sculptures from other Collections, written mention p. 4, n° 16
Exhibition: The National Museum Bezalel, Jerusalem, 7 February-7 March 1953; Museum of Modern Art, Haifa, November 1955

The Dan live in the north-west of Côte d'Ivoire and on the border between Liberia and Guinea. They are farmers who grow rice and manioc on wetlands. This mask, with its spatially projected volumes and frontal ribbing and frieze, is part of the Southern Dan style. It is distinguished by the powerful architecture of its forms, its crusty patina and the rarity of its type. These masks were used for conflict resolution and war management.