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Miniature Mask

African Art

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Miniature Mask

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Dan Artist, Liberia or Ivory Coast

Date

Late nineteenth–early twentieth century

Medium

Wood

Accession #

2006.1

Dimensions

3 x 1 5/8 inches

Location

Currently Not on View

Description

In the Dan region of the Ivory Coast and neighboring Liberia, both men and women whose families own an important mask are entitled to own miniature masks such as this one. They help family members maintain contact with the mask’s benevolent spirit when traveling far from home. Before marrying and moving to their new home, women commission miniature masks to maintain their close relationship to the family’s mask spirit. African art collectors in Europe and the United States often refer to these miniature masks as “passport” masks.

Credit

Gift of Anne and Bill Marsh