Face Mask

Face Mask

possibly early 1900s

Wood, metal, leather, and organic materials

Overall: 22.9 cm (9 in.)

Gift of Katherine C. White 1972.331


Originally dressed with an elaborate fiber coiffure, this face mask with a high forehead in northern Dan style was called either sagbwe or gunyege. As a "runner mask," it was engaged in running competitions once organized every Sunday during the dry season. As a "fire-watcher," its main task was to protect the village from fire when the dangerous Harmattan desert wind blew during the dry season.

See also
African Art
African Art
Type of artwork: 

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