Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [African_Arts] Dan Mask? Kran figure? What Are Your Thoughts?

Expand Messages
  • Lee Rubinstein
    Robert: Observing both the scale and the encrustation appearing on the reverse surface of the first object presented, I am inclined to deduct that it is more
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 9, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Robert:

      Observing both the scale and the encrustation appearing on the reverse surface of the first object presented, I am inclined to deduct that it is more likely a ritual object than a mask per se.  I would recommend including within your search parameters both Guinean and Liberian sources -- beginning with the Guinean Toma and Liberian Loma counterparts and extending through such groups as the Kpelle/Guerze.  For corresponding forms and similar embellishments in masks, you will likely benefit from viewing the class of masks which include those identified as kpakologi and/or bakorogi such as this example presented in the Yale University Art Gallery:
       Male mask with headdress (Kpakologi)
      Loma/Kpelle, Liberia/Guinea, early 20th century
      Wood, feathers, textile, hide, cloth, fiber, pigment, metal, 77 in. (195.6 cm) high 
      Charles B. Benenson Collection
      CB734 

      From the Loma or Kpelle people of the border of Liberia and Guinea, this mask with headdress and complete costume presents a conundrum. The costume of feathers is a type used by the Onilgagi (Bird Mask) dancers among the Loma, who wear no mask but paint their faces white. The white mask is similar to a Loma mask, painted black, called Kpakologi, which has an articulated jaw and a bundle of feathers at the top, but whose costume is made of raffia and cloth. Although we cannot be sure the mask belongs to this costume, we do know how it would have been used. In performance, such large wooden masks are customarily worn on the forehead rather than on the face and, when worn horizontally, resemble a crocodile head with bared teeth. When the masked dancer leans over and faces the audience, however, the mask is seen as a human face.

      A perusal of sources on the Poro societies of the Western Guinea Coast -- including the early writings contributed by George W. Harley (and Schwab) may offer a good starting point for a broader consideration of such figures such as those presented from that region.  More recent publications that may provide additional clues include Charles Bordogna's The Masks of Liberia:  Appreciating a Heritage, Donna Page's Artists and Patrons in Traditional African Cultures  and the quite newly published Masks of the Koranko Poro: Form, Function and Comparison to the Toma by Neil Carey (Ethnos Publications, 2008).  (See an article related to the last publication:  http://www.amherstbulletin.com/story/id/74943/.)

      Lee


      On Jul 8, 2008, at 6:14 PM, Robert Fiedler wrote:


      Greetings to All,

      I have an interesting mask probably from Guinea that let's call it Dan for now.  The mask has Toma like features with feather headdress and monkey fur beard.  The back is highly encrusted, the eyes have cowries and it has a trunk-like projection at the base.  It's size is H: 12" x W: 3".  Can anyone help with identification or refernences?

      The second is an unusual Kran figure collected in Aborokoro, Ivory Coast. I've seen many Kagle masks for which Fisher & Himmelheber would call chimpanzee.  It has the same triangular motif repeated in the cheeks, nose and eyes yet incorporates a trunk-like projection from the mouth.  There are Kran masks that have similar features but is anyone familiar with a Kran figure?  It's size is  H: 9 1/2" x W: 3"                                               

      See photos:

      http://ph.groups. yahoo.com/ group/African_ Arts/photos/ browse/1dea

      Appreciate your help.

      Thanks,

      Robert

      www.fiedlertribalar t.com

       
       
       
       




      Begin forwarded message:

      From: Lee Rubinstein <rukundo@...>

      Date: April 30, 2008 12:28:15 AM EDT

      Subject: Poro, Harley, Neil Carey


      Notes on the Poro in Liberia and Masks as Agents of Social Control in Northeast Liberia
      by Harley, George W.
      Edition: 200th 2001
      ISBN: 9781578982660

      EARTHGLOBE (CT)-amazon

      Notes on the Poro in Liberia  Papers of the Peabody XIX, 2
      by Harley, George W.
      Edition: 1941
      ISBN: 9780527012489

      Native African Medicine with Special Reference to Its Practice in the Mano Tribe of Liberia
      by Harley, George W.
      Edition: 1970
      ISBN: 9780714616711

      A Third of a Century with George Way Harley in Liberia    perihelion6 amazon $36  used 21 
      by Harley, Winifred J.
      Edition: 1973
      ISBN: 9780317002362

      Masks As Agents of Social Control in Northeast Liberia
      by Harley, George W.
      Edition: 1950
      ISBN: 9780527012830

      Tribes of the Liberian Hinterland Papers of the Peabody XXXI Zubal amazon $329
      by Schwab, George and Harley, G. W.
      Edition: 1947
      ISBN: 9780527012786

      Native African Medicine
      by Harley, George Way
      ISBN: 9780598974259

      KAMARA (Mamadou Koble) .

      Title:    Les fonctions du Masque dans la Societe Dan de Sipilou.

      vandenhoute

      Jean M. Borgatti

      Reviewed work(s): Knowing the Unknown: The George Way Harley Memorial Collection of Liberian Masks and Artifacts in the Duke University Museum of Art by Katherine E. M. Somerville; Gerald W. Hartwig

      African Arts, Vol. 12, No. 3 (May, 1979), pp. 91-91   (review consists of 1 page)


      Masks of the Koranko Poro: Form, Function and Comparison to the Toma (Paperback)
      by Neil Carey (Author)

      Ethnos Publications; First edition (May 21, 2008)

      http://www.amazon.com/Masks-Koranko-Poro-Function-Comparison/dp/0979329019


      http://www.amherstbulletin.com/story/id/74943/

      http://www.amherstbulletin.com/photo/id/74943/



      In the meantime, his plan for stewardship of the objects includes sharing them with the community in a major local exhibition that he would then like to see tour the country, preparatory to coming to rest in a dedicated ethnographic art museum here in the Valley


      Laura A & Neil Carey
      940 S East St
      Amherst, MA 01002-3051
      (413) 253-0062

    • fiedlertribalart@aol.com
      Lee, Thank you for your insightful comments about the Loma/Toma piece. I ll investigate the references on the Poro so again you ve been very helpful. I
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 14, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Lee,
        Thank you for your insightful comments about the Loma/Toma piece.  I'll investigate the references on the Poro so again you've been very helpful.  I showed the piece to an expert who agreed that it is a ritual object. It may have been used for healing and protection indicated by the heavy encrustation on the back.  The Kran figure was made for market.  Appreciate your evaluation as always.
         
        Robert
         
        In a message dated 7/9/2008 5:10:34 A.M. Mountain Standard Time, LeeRubinstein@... writes:


        Robert:

        Observing both the scale and the encrustation appearing on the reverse surface of the first object presented, I am inclined to deduct that it is more likely a ritual object than a mask per se.  I would recommend including within your search parameters both Guinean and Liberian sources -- beginning with the Guinean Toma and Liberian Loma counterparts and extending through such groups as the Kpelle/Guerze.  For corresponding forms and similar embellishments in masks, you will likely benefit from viewing the class of masks which include those identified as kpakologi and/or bakorogi such as this example presented in the Yale University Art Gallery:
         Male mask with headdress (Kpakologi)
        Loma/Kpelle, Liberia/Guinea, early 20th century
        Wood, feathers, textile, hide, cloth, fiber, pigment, metal, 77 in. (195.6 cm) high 
        Charles B. Benenson Collection
        CB734 

        From the Loma or Kpelle people of the border of Liberia and Guinea, this mask with headdress and complete costume presents a conundrum. The costume of feathers is a type used by the Onilgagi (Bird Mask) dancers among the Loma, who wear no mask but paint their faces white. The white mask is similar to a Loma mask, painted black, called Kpakologi, which has an articulated jaw and a bundle of feathers at the top, but whose costume is made of raffia and cloth. Although we cannot be sure the mask belongs to this costume, we do know how it would have been used. In performance, such large wooden masks are customarily worn on the forehead rather than on the face and, when worn horizontally, resemble a crocodile head with bared teeth. When the masked dancer leans over and faces the audience, however, the mask is seen as a human face.

        A perusal of sources on the Poro societies of the Western Guinea Coast -- including the early writings contributed by George W. Harley (and Schwab) may offer a good starting point for a broader consideration of such figures such as those presented from that region.  More recent publications that may provide additional clues include Charles Bordogna's The Masks of Liberia:  Appreciating a Heritage, Donna Page's Artists and Patrons in Traditional African Cultures  and the quite newly published Masks of the Koranko Poro: Form, Function and Comparison to the Toma by Neil Carey (Ethnos Publications, 2008).  (See an article related to the last publication:  http://www.amherstbulletin.com/story/id/74943/.)

        Lee


        On Jul 8, 2008, at 6:14 PM, Robert Fiedler wrote:


        Greetings to All,

        I have an interesting mask probably from Guinea that let's call it Dan for now.  The mask has Toma like features with feather headdress and monkey fur beard.  The back is highly encrusted, the eyes have cowries and it has a trunk-like projection at the base.  It's size is H: 12" x W: 3".  Can anyone help with identification or refernences?

        The second is an unusual Kran figure collected in Aborokoro, Ivory Coast. I've seen many Kagle masks for which Fisher & Himmelheber would call chimpanzee.  It has the same triangular motif repeated in the cheeks, nose and eyes yet incorporates a trunk-like projection from the mouth.  There are Kran masks that have similar features but is anyone familiar with a Kran figure?  It's size is  H: 9 1/2" x W: 3"                                               

        See photos:

        http://ph.groups. yahoo.com/ group/African_ Arts/photos/ browse/1dea

        Appreciate your help.

        Thanks,

        Robert

        www.fiedlertribalar t.com


         

         

         

         




        Begin forwarded message:

        From: Lee Rubinstein <rukundo@...>

        Date: April 30, 2008 12:28:15 AM EDT

        Subject: Poro, Harley, Neil Carey


        Notes on the Poro in Liberia and Masks as Agents of Social Control in Northeast Liberia
        by Harley, George W.
        Edition: 200th 2001
        ISBN: 9781578982660

        EARTHGLOBE (CT)-amazon

        Notes on the Poro in Liberia  Papers of the Peabody XIX, 2
        by Harley, George W.
        Edition: 1941
        ISBN: 9780527012489

        Native African Medicine with Special Reference to Its Practice in the Mano Tribe of Liberia
        by Harley, George W.
        Edition: 1970
        ISBN: 9780714616711

        A Third of a Century with George Way Harley in Liberia    perihelion6 amazon $36  used 21 
        by Harley, Winifred J.
        Edition: 1973
        ISBN: 9780317002362

        Masks As Agents of Social Control in Northeast Liberia
        by Harley, George W.
        Edition: 1950
        ISBN: 9780527012830

        Tribes of the Liberian Hinterland Papers of the Peabody XXXI Zubal amazon $329
        by Schwab, George and Harley, G. W.
        Edition: 1947
        ISBN: 9780527012786

        Native African Medicine
        by Harley, George Way
        ISBN: 9780598974259

        KAMARA (Mamadou Koble) .

        Title:    Les fonctions du Masque dans la Societe Dan de Sipilou.

        vandenhoute

        Jean M. Borgatti

        Reviewed work(s): Knowing the Unknown: The George Way Harley Memorial Collection of Liberian Masks and Artifacts in the Duke University Museum of Art by Katherine E. M. Somerville; Gerald W. Hartwig

        African Arts, Vol. 12, No. 3 (May, 1979), pp. 91-91   (review consists of 1 page)


        Masks of the Koranko Poro: Form, Function and Comparison to the Toma (Paperback)
        by Neil Carey (Author)

        Ethnos Publications; First edition (May 21, 2008)

        http://www.amazon.com/Masks-Koranko-Poro-Function-Comparison/dp/0979329019


        http://www.amherstbulletin.com/story/id/74943/

        http://www.amherstbulletin.com/photo/id/74943/



        In the meantime, his plan for stewardship of the objects includes sharing them with the community in a major local exhibition that he would then like to see tour the country, preparatory to coming to rest in a dedicated ethnographic art museum here in the Valley


        Laura A & Neil Carey
        940 S East St
        Amherst, MA 01002-3051
        (413) 253-0062






        Get the scoop on last night's hottest shows and the live music scene in your area - Check out TourTracker.com!
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.