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Kran Dance Mask

Artist: Unknown Ivoirian Artist Primary
Date: circa 1900
20th century
Dimensions: 9 x 5.5 in. (22.86 x 13.97 cm)
Object Type: Mask
Creation Place: Africa, Côte d’Ivoire
Medium and Support: Wood
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Fass
Accession Number: 2018.08.01
On View: Bellarmine Hall Galleries

The Kran people are an ethno-cultural group living in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia in West Africa. Masks like these were sometimes used in the initiations and ceremonies for poro, a men’s secret society.

Once an object is removed from its original cultural context it is very hard to know the intent of the maker. Was this mask carved for traditional ceremonial purposes? Or was it made to sell as a decorative object or souvenir for someone outside the community?

Parke-Bernet, March 20, 1968, lot 127 by Jacob Fass (1960s); 2003 gift to Fairfield University.

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