Masquerades Among the Dan People

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

Kagle mask named Slu (“hawk”), Dan peoples, Liberia. February 1986. Photo by William Siegmann.

This mask is named Slu or “Hawk”. Like Wuti, it belongs to the class of kagle masks.  A row of horns is carved on the brow of the mask to represent the horns of a small antelope or duiker. Real duiker horns are used as containers for magical powders and for protective herbs.  The carved horns symbolize the supernatural powers of the mask spirit. The eyes and teeth of the mask are made of aluminum and emphasize the intensity of the mask, thereby conveying another sense of power.