Mask (Primary Title)
Masks made by the Dan people represent forest spirits that are believed to live in the mountains. For the benefit of the community, the spirits take on the form of a mask in human or animal form. They “speak” in growls, croaks, and twitters that have to be interpreted by a person who understands their “language.”
This handsome example still has its original hair attached. Textile garments, fringe, beads, and other accessories were once tied onto the mask through the holes around the mask’s rim.
African Exhibition, Fine Arts Center, Lynchburg, VA. 29 April - 8 May 1979.
Meggs, Philip B. A History of Graphic Design. Second Edition. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992. (illus. 16.2, p. 239)
“Mystery and Merriment at the Virginia Museum.” Richmond Free Press. December 27-29, 2007
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. “Mystery.” Richmond, VA: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. 6 October -30 December 2007. (Invitation and flyer)
Richard B. Woodward, African Art (Richmond, VA: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1994) pp. 76-78, ill.
Bonnie V. Winston, “’Mystery’ Exhibition Opens Oct. 6 at VMFA,” Richmond Free Press, Oct. 4-6, 2007, color ill. p. B4.
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