Dan Passport Masks

The Dan people of Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire are widely known for their tradition of using miniature masks. These small masks are sometimes called “Passport” masks due to their use as identification when the owner is traveling away from their home village.

Often sewn onto a piece of cloth & carried on the person in a pouch. They have also be worn on the arm or around the neck as an amulet to protect the owner.

Passport masks are miniature copies of family masks and enable the carrier to retain contact with the spirit embodied in the parent mask. The masks are used to invoke benevolent spirits during secret society meetings. They also demand offerings from initiates during initiation ceremonies such as libations. In addition to warding off evil.

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