Two dance masks from French West Africa.
Wooden masks by Unknown Artist, 19th century
© British Museum
- 1) 27.3 cm; 2) 22.8 cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £75 ( Total: £75)
- Acquired in:
- Hon Andrew Shirley
The first was made by the Guro tribe of the Ivory Coast and carved from hardwood with a fine black patina. It depicts a small-featured face with a high forehead marked by a prominent median ridge and unusually elaborate hairstyle (main illustration). This type of mask was worn by talented dancers and enjoyed by the whole village during ceremonies. It would have been commissioned by an individual with the intention of being startling and original, reflecting the latest trends in fashion. The second dance mask has an unusual corded design, and is probably from the Dan tribe. It is made from a light wood and has been well used.
Collection of Mr Percy Moore Turner