Peoples & Societies
The Dan peoples are part of the Mande linguistic group and live in northeast Liberia and the neighboring areas of Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea. Farmers and warriors, the Dan have no central authority; rather, they live in independent villages made up of different clans grouped around a chief. Secret societies are important to the organization of Dan society, especially the Poro society, which is common to all ethnic groups of the region. Masks are perhaps the most important works of art created by the Dan. Artists also carve figural sculpture and spoons and make pottery.
Roslyn A. Walker, The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 301.
- University of Iowa Museum of Art, Art & Life in Africa
Learn more about the Dan peoples.
- University of Iowa, Art & Life in Africa
Read an essay about masquerades among the Dan peoples.
- Smart History
Read an overview of the peoples and cultures in Africa.