Masquerades Among the Dan People

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

Zo greeting a deangle mask, Dan peoples, Liberia. February 1986. Photo by William Siegmann.

Masks may be divided into several named categories such as kagle or deangle but each mask spirit is really seen as an individual with distinct physical attributes as well as character traits. Every mask spirit has a personal name as well as one or more praise names. Thus it is more relevant to ask “Who is that spirit” than to ask “What kind of mask is that?”