Lot: 253

87th Tribal Art Auction

Anthropomorphic face mask "tankagle"

Côte d'Ivoire, Dan

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Emil Storrer, Zurich, Switzerland H: 8.9 inch 25000 EUR
plus 21 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, blackish brown shiny patina, reddish brown pigment, concave vaulted face with short nose and prominent diamond-shaped mouth, forehead with vertical ridge, covered with incised linear scarification marks which can be found underneath the eyes as well, mouth and nose with drilled holes, slightly dam., both eyes damaged along lower rim (probably once narrow with metal borders), traces of insect caused damage (forehead, root of the nose, mouth), crack (upper rim). "Tankagle" means something close to "dancing miming masquerade". They entertain the spectators with various beautiful dances, and sometimes they perform short skits or songs. "Tankagle" wears "komo", a bonnet-like cap with applied decorations including the "bla ka", a strip of goat skin covered with cowrie shells. The costume consists of of a pair of trousers with a skirt of bast fibre. The mask dancers wear leg rattles and hold calebash rattles in their hands.


Fischer, Eberhard & Hans Himmelheber, Die Kunst der Dan, Zürich 1976, p. 61, ill. 26; Fischer, Eberhard & Hans Himmelheber, The Arts of the Dan in West Africa, Zurich 1984, p. 29, ill. 28