DAN MASKS: GE GON

The border between Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia cuts across several ethnic groups, including the Dan, Wee, Kran, and Grebo. In Dan society, dangerous immaterial forest spirits are translated into the forms of human face masks.

Dan arts are notable for wood sculpture, including a huge variety of masks, each with unique forms and purposes. Dan masks are the most important art form of the Dan people. Artisan also produce traditional wooden spoons.

Masks are the most important art form of the Dan people of Liberia. The Dan people refer to these masks as gle or ge, terms that refers both to the physical mask and the individual spirits the mask is believed to embody during masquerade performances.

Whether or not they’re worn, such sculptured works are spiritually charged. This mask with its bird-like beak and oval eyes is known as Ge Gon. Originally pedagogical, historical, and regulatory, Ge Gon was described as a mask of wisdom. It has progressively become mostly used for entertainment purposes that appeals through its bird-like movements in performance.

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