Dan Dean Gle Mask, Côte d'Ivoire #99

$ 950.00

Dan Dean Gle Mask, Côte d'Ivoire #99
Measurements: 10" high x 5" wide.
Condition: Excellent. Age approx Mid to Late 20th Century.
Scholars use the terms Ge and Gle interchangeably to refer both to Dan Masks and to Invisible, Supernatural Spirit Forces that live in the Forest but desire to enter the Civilized World of the Village. The only way they can do this, the Dan believe, is through Masquerade and Ritual Dance.
In order for a Gle to be embodied during a Masquerade, an initiated member of a Dan Men's Society must have a dream that reveals the exact nature of the Gle, its intended function, and the Masquerade through which the Gle would manifest. The Council of Elders, once they are told of the dream, decides whether the Masquerade Ensemble should be created for that man to wear and perform.
The wooden Gle Mask is accompanied by a full-body costume constructed of raffia, feathers and fur. It is believed that each Gle Mask has its own personality, preferences, dance and speech patterns and is given a personal name. The wearer of the mask takes on all of these qualities during the Masquerade. Having come from the dark, mysterious Realm of the Forest, a Gle Mask attached to a Spirit is believed to be unpredictable. Therefore, an attendant always accompanies the Gle Masquerader to control it and interpret its speech. 
Gle can be divided into two categories: that of Dean Gle, which is a gentle, peaceful Gle Mask without a gender, but whose qualities are thought of as Feminine.The other category is that of Bu Gle, which is the War Gle named after the sound of a gunshot, whose qualities are thought of as Masculine.
The Dean Gle Mask represents an Idealized Version of Dan Beauty. It is characterized by narrow eyes, an oval shape face, a smooth forehead, and a mouth slightly open, sometimes to expose inserted teeth. Dean Gle's functions are to teach, entertain and nurture.
Bu Gle masks are designed to frighten. Their eyes are depicted as protruding tubes and the surface of the face has boldly projecting angles. The most powerful Bu Gle masks are decorated with animal and Ritual deposits/ attachments such a bone and fur.