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    Nafana (Ghana / Côte d'Ivoire)
    Bedu Mask
    Wood, paint; H: 71 inches W: 32 inches

    These immense, plank-like masks came in male and female pairs, with this mask being the smaller, male form. They were danced almost nightly during the Nafana lunar month corresponding to our December and called Zçrçnyepç, "the dance and Bedu moon." By the end of the dance period the masks would have visited every home in the village, constituting an annual communal purification, absorbing evil, misfortune, difficulties, and negativity. The Bedu's lunar orientation suggests that the timing is related to the winter solstice, but the exact origin and meaning of the inhabiting spirit is uncertain, though it is known that the spirit might leave the mask were it to appear in the daytime.


    Hyram Orenstein (served as legal counsel to chemical plants in the Ivory Coast), before 1950
    Donald and Elise Orenstein
    Sotheby's, New York, sale 7996, May 14, 2004, p.43, lot 38
    Gary Hendershott, Little Rock

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    7th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,106

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