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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
208 W 83rd St NYC
+1 212 579 3596

Passport Mask

Dan, Côte d’Ivoire
Early 20th Century

Provenance: Private New York collection. Acquired in the 1970’s, then by descent.

The Dan believe that masks are materializations of supernatural spirits, which make themselves known to humans who they wish to assimilate with. Small masks are called Passport Mask and can provide protection to a family or act as a form of personal identification. These masks are extremely individualistic. This example from the early 20th Century is distinctly Dan, with its domed forehead and facial features carved in raised relief. The mask’s wood exhibits a very dark and deeply encrusted surface, suggesting prolonged handling.

Passport Mask

Dan, Côte d’Ivoire
Early 20th Century

Provenance: Private New York collection. Acquired in the 1970’s, then by descent.

The Dan believe that masks are materializations of supernatural spirits, which make themselves known to humans who they wish to assimilate with. Small masks are called Passport Mask and can provide protection to a family or act as a form of personal identification. These masks are extremely individualistic. This example from the early 20th Century is distinctly Dan, with its domed forehead and facial features carved in raised relief. The mask’s wood exhibits a very dark and deeply encrusted surface, suggesting prolonged handling.