This Dan Mask with a high forehead, slit eyes, concave face, and protruding mouth. It is adorned with Crowley shells, raffia, and metal bells that frame the face. The Dan Mythology separates the world into two spheres: The sphere of the village and the sphere of the forest. When a boy reaches the age of 16, he embarks on a journey into a dangerous forest world. During this journey to manhood, he hunts his own food, and defends himself with only a spear. After a series of events, and by permission of the elders he can return. Upon his return, he is initiated into the sacred order amongst the Men of the tribe. The transition happens in this Mask. He will forever be changed.
Dan masks easily distinguish them among African art. The Dan have inhabited the Ivory Coast and Liberia since the eighth century B.C. A loose confederation of villages totaling some 350,000 individuals, they have spent much of their history battling neighboring tribes and sometimes each other.