Masquerades Among the Dan People

by William Siegmann (1943 - 2011)
Formerly The Brooklyn Museum

Kagle mask named Wuti, Dan peoples, Liberia. February 1986. Photo by William Siegmann.

Wuti is the name of this particular mask from the town of Gbanwie. The face of the mask is said to resemble that of the Diana monkey with its deep set eyes, low forehead, strongly accentuated cheek bones and prognathous jaw. It is usually hard to get a good look at the face, however, since the mask is almost always in motion and the face is often obscured by the shaggy wig, or blua, which is characteristic of kagle masks. His performance style is mischievous and he provides rowdy entertainment, which “heats up” the audience and excites them making it one of the favorite entertainers in the region.