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Dan Bassa mask - SOLD OUT
African mask in monoxyl wood with a rich and dark patina. The face is concave in two sides, protruding forward at the level of the forehead and the mouth. The eyes open in small slits. Holes are observed on the upper lip for the insertion of separate teeth. Around the face and on the forehead is an engraved band similar to laurel. The edges of the mask are drilled for the insertion of a separate raffia beard.
The iconic masks of the Bassa (and the Dan in general) are considered sacred and act as a portal to the spirit world.
They form the most important art form for the Danes and have multiple functions, such as initiation ceremonies, to act as guardians and prowess among young men.
Traditionally, the mask personifies certain animals, in human form, which inhabit the bush and are spiritually charged. Male performers, known as gle-zo, have dreams that are said to have been sent by the spirit that inhabits the mask. In these dreams, the masks allow the person to wear it for the dance ceremonies.
It is during these ceremonies that political and religious issues are resolved by the strict hierarchy of the spirit world.
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