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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
208 W 83rd St NYC
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Passport Mask, ma-go

Dan tribe, Liberia
Early 20th century

Provenance: Old American collection

The Dan believes that masks are materializations of supernatural spirits, which make themselves known to humans who they wish to assimilate with. Small masks are called Passport masks and can provide protection to a family or act as a form of personal identification. These masks are extremely individualistic. This example is distinctly Dan, with its domed forehead and facial features carved in raised relief. The mask’s wood exhibits an almost marbled patina, suggesting prolonged handling.

Passport Mask, ma-go

Dan tribe, Liberia
Early 20th century

Provenance: Old American collection

The Dan believes that masks are materializations of supernatural spirits, which make themselves known to humans who they wish to assimilate with. Small masks are called Passport masks and can provide protection to a family or act as a form of personal identification. These masks are extremely individualistic. This example is distinctly Dan, with its domed forehead and facial features carved in raised relief. The mask’s wood exhibits an almost marbled patina, suggesting prolonged handling.