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Early 20th C. African Dan Wood Passport Maskette

West Africa, Ivory Coast / Liberia, Dan peoples, ca. early 20th century CE. A small personal maskette, hand-carved from a lightweight brown wood, created to serve as an amulet by the Dan peoples and neighboring cultures. Replete with features characteristic of Dan masks, this example boasts a concave face, a high-domed forehead, a bulbous nose, recessed eyes, and a rounded chin. Such maskettes were created to connect the owner with a specific spirit that is believed to offer guidance and protection. Traditionally, these are hidden and only revealed during special rituals. In addition such maskettes are carried by their owners during travels. An old example with a relatively rougher surface signifying that is was covered with vegetal-based pigments. Size: 3.375" H (8.6 cm).

Condition: Age-commensurate surface wear, areas of light roughness to both obverse and reverse sides, small loss underneath chin, otherwise very good. Nice earthen and mineral deposits throughout.

Provenance: ex-collection of the late Peter Arnovick, San Francisco, California, USA

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