Multiple tiny sea snail shells are strung together to decorate this neck adornment, with at its centre, is a finely carved mask. The mask exhibits typical Dan narrow slit eyes, finely accentuated cheekbones, a high forehead and delicately perched lips. Attached to one side of the mask is a animal horn, a large impressive cowrie shell and on the other side is attached a section of a razor shell, a crocodile tooth, wooden beads and a small fish vertebrae . The size of the mask suggests that it was a 'passport mask' - a term commonly applied to Dan masks that served as an important means of identification for mask-owners, when travelling outside their immediate communities.
Estimated Period: Mid-20th Century
Ex Private Collection Mario Stella, Italy
Custom-Made Mount: 46cm x 18.5 cm
'Miniature Mask', The Metropolitan Museum
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