Wooden masks by Unknown Artist

Two dance masks from French West Africa.


Details

Medium:
Wood
Dimensions:
1) 27.3 cm; 2) 22.8 cm
Art Fund grant:
£75 ( Total: £75)
Acquired in:
1951
Vendor:
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.

Provenance

Collection of Mr Percy Moore Turner

Venue details

British Museum Great Russell Street, LONDON London WC1B 3DG 020 7323 8299 www.britishmuseum.org

Entry details

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