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Image of Ge Gon (Bird Mask)

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unknown Ivorian
Ivorian Primary

unknown Dan

Ge Gon (Bird Mask)

20th century

13 in. x 7 1/16 in. x 7 1/2 in. (33 cm x 18 cm x 19 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.3.57
Other Number(s): 18 (54) (Neufeld Collection Number)
54 (Sotheby's Lot Number)
Geography: Africa, Côte d'Ivoire
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Masks
Culture/Nationality: Guerzé(Kpelle) or Dan-Yacouba, Ivorian, West African, African
Collection: Neufeld Collection
Description: Masquerades of the hornbill are popular among Dan living in Cote d'Ivoire. Although the hornbill is not commonly viewed as sacred, it is considered to be joyful and appreciated for its companionship to women. The hornbill masquerade usually makes its appearances at festive celebrations.

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • African - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Africa, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • carvings - Refers to works executed by cutting a figure or design out of a solid material such as stone or wood. It typically refers to works that are relatively small in size, are part of a larger work, or are not considered art. For large and medium-sized three-dimensional works of art, use the broader term "sculpture" or another appropriate term.
  • Dan
  • Ivorian - Style and culture of the Ivory Coast.
  • masks - Refers to coverings for all or part of the face, usually with openings for the eyes and sometimes the mouth. They are worn to hide or alter the identity of the wearer or for protection. Masks as cultural objects have been used throughout the world in all periods since the Stone Age. Masks are extremely varied in appearance, function, and fundamental meaning. They may be associated with ceremonies that have religious and social significance or are concerned with funerary customs, fertility rites, or curing sickness. They may be used on festive occasions or to portray characters in a dramatic performance and in re-enactments of mythological events. They may be used for warfare and as protective devices in certain sports. They are also employed as architectural ornaments.
  • West African - Styles and cultures from the region comprising the westernmost area of the African continent, defined by the United Nations as including the modern nations of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
  • wood - The principal tissue of trees and other plants that provides both strength and a means of conducting nutrients. Wood is one of the most versatile materials known.

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version
Additional Image 99.3.57_BMC_pl_2.jpg
Additional Image 99.3.57_BMC_pl.jpg
Additional Image 99.3.57_BMC_f_2.jpg
Additional Image 99.3.57 In the Neufeld's Home
99.3.57 In the Neufeld's Home
Additional Image 99.3.57_BMC_f.jpg

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:
  • On Selecting: Profiles of Alumnae Donors to the African Art & Artifacts Collection Maria Shellman , Jan 25, 2017 – Sep 2, 2017
  • A Curious Group; a cabinet of curiosities Bryn Mawr College , Apr 4, 2014 – Jun 30, 2014
  • African Images, Western Imageries: Collecting and Recollecting African Bryn Mawr College , Sep 26, 1999 – Jun 15, 2000
  • African Spirit Images and Identities Pace Primitive , Apr 24, 1976 – May 29, 1976

  • Owner Name: Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953
    Role: Donor
    Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US
    Ownership End Date: 12/17/1997

  • Owner Name: Pace Primitive
    Role: Dealer
    Place: New York, US
    Ownership End Date: 1976

Bibliography List
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Important Tribal Art Sotheby's . New York, NY, 1989
    Figure Number: 54
  • Carrie Robbins and Nathanael Roesch. A Curious Group. Bryn Mawr College. Bryn Mawr, PA, April 4–June 1, 2014
    Figure Number: Wood 8
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): Record: No.: 0056405.
  • Leon Siroto, African Spirit Images and Identities Pace Primitive. New York, NY, 1976
    Page Number: 51, Figure Number: 77

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • Louis T. Wells, Jr., "The Harley Masks of Northeast Liberia." African Arts 10, no. 2 (January 1977): 27, Figure Number: 12.
  • "The Met Online Collections Database." The Met Collection. (Accessed April 9, 2020): The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accession No.: 1979.206.55.

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Louis T. Wells, Jr., "The Harley Masks of Northeast Liberia." African Arts 10, no. 2 (January 1977): 22-27, 91-92.
  • "The Met Online Collections Database." The Met Collection. (Accessed April 9, 2020): The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accession No.: 1979.206.55.

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Ge Gon (Bird Mask) |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=6/7/2023 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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