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Gothamgallery Fine African Art - Liberia Dan Tribal Slit Drum With Figure Head For Sale
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Exceptional African Liberia Dan Slit Drum With Figure Head
Height: 57 Centimeters
Wood, Vegetal Material
Early – Mid 20th Century
Fair - Good
Tribal musical instrument slit drum with figure head of traditional Dan features dark patina
US East Coast - Estimated $18.00
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Documentation of Authenticity / Any Available Provenance Will Be Included With This Piece
CONDITION Wood deterioration, age cracks, chips especially to base and scrapes, worn areas, overall condition fair to good. Thank you and please view my other items.
BACKGROUND Dan people, who are also known by the name Yacuba, live in the western part of the Ivory Coast and into Liberia where the land is forested in the south and bordered by a savannah in the north. The Dan people make their living from farming cocoa, rice and manioc. Before unifying secret societies were set up at the turn of the century, each Dan village was an autonomous socio-political unit governed by a chief elected on the base of his wealth and social position. Today, the leopard society acts as a major regulator of Dan life and initiates young men during their isolated periods of three to four months in the forest. Dan people have achieved notoriety in the area for their entertainment festivals which were historically village ceremonies, but are today performed largely for tourists. During these festivals, masked performers dance on stilts. Dan figures, which were commissioned by powerful chiefs as three-dimensional portraits of their favorite spouse, are relatively rare. They measure about 60 cm in height and some function as maternity figures with babies on their backs. These statues are kept hidden inside houses and are only revealed during important occasions such as visits by foreign dignitaries. Since the turn of the century, Dan blacksmiths have cast brass figures which serve as prestige objects. They usually represent soldiers or people engaging in daily activities.
Painter Fred Uhlman words - Most of the artists I admired, Picasso, Modigliani, Deraini, to mention only a few, had collected African art and had been profoundly
influenced by it. Shortly afterwards I bought the Baule Fetish and the Baule bobbin which are still two of the finest pieces in my collection. It is easy to see
why I bought them and why from that moment I have never stopped collecting. The head of the bobbin or heddle - pulley which is after all only a functional
object for the purpose of weaving seemed to me then and today as beautiful as a Greek goddess. The fetish moved me as deeply as the bobbin by its silent
tragic dignity and its air of profound meditation.
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Gothamgallery Fine African Art - Liberia Dan Tribal Slit Drum With Figure Head: $260