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Personal Miniature Mask (Ma Go)

Arts of Africa

Small, personal masks function as amulets among the Dan and neighboring cultures, linking the owner with a particular spirit force that provides assistance and protection. Normally, they are kept hidden and brought out only during special rituals. When the owner travels, he carries the mask and might occasionally show it to indicate his association with a personal guardian spirit.
CULTURES Dan or Mano
MEDIUM Wood, organic matter, fiber or feathers
  • Place Made: Liberia
  • DATES 19th or 20th century
    DIMENSIONS 4 3/4 x 3 x 2in. (12.1 x 7.6 x 5.1cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
    ACCESSION NUMBER 1995.7.28
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Blake Robinson
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Oval human face. Protruding face with double ridge along center. Eye area at base of forehead obscured by organic matter. Ears (semi-circular) protrude at eye level. Nose slopes upward, tip 1/2" long. Down-turned mouth, protruding lips. Pointy chin. CONDITION: Overall dirt and abrasions. Possible insect damage along one edge. Fibers or feathers embedded in two places, near eyes and near one ear. Chips on rear or both ears. Two holes on edges just above ear level (one hole through, other hole clogged).
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Dan. Personal Miniature Mask (Ma Go), 19th or 20th century. Wood, organic matter, fiber or feathers, 4 3/4 x 3 x 2in. (12.1 x 7.6 x 5.1cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Blake Robinson, 1995.7.28. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1995.7.28_front_PS6.jpg)
    IMAGE front, 1995.7.28_front_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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