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 has an entourage of athletic, bare-chested young men who provide the music and songs which accompany the mask. The instruments they use include a wooden slit drum, a pair of bamboo slit drums, a side-blown horn and iron gong. As part of the performance, Wuti hurls its hooked sticks at them which must be dodged with acrobatic skill. Wuti has its own distinct songs and music. The entourage shares the gifts given to Wuti when it performs and no performance is possible without the participation of the complete ensemble.