material: wood, fiber
vendor: hamill gallery
Dan masks are usually used by male associations for rituals, education, social control and entertainment. Masks were thought to embody the most powerful of spirit forces called gle. Each gle has its own character. They brought control and order to village life. There are several distinctly different types of Dan masks.
Masks with a horizontal, usually red band across the eyes are Zakpai Ge masks, used to enforce fire prevention. The wearer monitors bonfires and punishes those who's bad practices endanger the village.
Gunyege masks, round eyed, are used in racing games and ceremonies in which the masked spirit must compete against unmasked runners. If the wearer lose the race, it means the spirit has deserted that person and the mask goes to the winner, as a trophy to wear in the next race.