African, Liberia/Côte d'Ivoire, Dan peoples
20th century
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Cote d'Ivoire/Liberia


Overall: 25 x 15 x 7 cm (9 13/16 x 5 7/8 x 2 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

painted wood and metal

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art



The Dan, who occupy the forested coast of West Africa, are known for their vast network of masks. The Dan believe that forest spirits will visit a member of the community and reveal the type of mask and accompanying costume that will allow the spirit to emerge. The elongated ovalesque shape of this mask indicates that it is a feminine masquerade. Performed by young men, feminine masquerades were generally associated with minor spirits.


Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart