Title: Miniature (Passport) Mask
Country: D.R. Congo
Description: The best known tradition of using
miniature masks were by the Dan people of
Liberia & the Ivory Coast. These small masks are
sometimes called "Passport" masks due to their
use as identification. They are often sewn onto a
piece of cloth & carried on the person in a pouch.
They 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, the miniature masks also
serve as witnesses during initiation ceremonies.
This particular mask has been carved with a
long nose, framing its bulging eyes; creating a
rather exaggerated, fun expression. Hanging
from its base is a mane of grass strands.
Included is a custom-built metal stand.
Dimensions: 9" height x 4 1/2" width x 2 3/4" depth
Stand dimensions: 7" height x 2 3/4" width x 2 3/4" depth
Mask on stand dimensions: 10 1/2" height x 4 1/2" width x 2 3/4" depth
Note: When the mask is taken off the stand and hanging on a wall, the total
height including the length of the hair, measures approx. 14"