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Bassa forehead mask, known as Geh-naw, Ganta Mission, Liberia

Catalog Data

Elisofon, Eliot  Search this
Collection Photographer:
Elisofon, Eliot  Search this
1 Slide (col.)
Bassa (Liberian and Sierra Leone people)  Search this
Archival materials
Color slides
Scope and Contents:
"The Bassa, one of the largest Kru-speaking peoples in the central coastal region and adjacent hinterland of Liberia, have several female and male societies, including the Chu-den-zo, to whom geh-naw mask belong. With graceful, gliding dances the geh-naw masqueraders entertain the spectators when initiated boys return from bush camp, when important guests visit the village, and on other festive occasions. The dancer wears the mask, which is attached to a woven framework, on his forehead, and looks through a slit in the fabric which is part of the costume that covers his head and upper body (Dorsinville/Meneghini,1973; Siegmann, 1988)." [Hahner-Herzog I., Kecskesi M., Vajda L., 1998: African Mask. Prestel-Verlag, Munich . New York]. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for Life magazine and traveled to Africa from August 18, 1959 to December 20, 1959.
Local Numbers:
E 2 BSS 1.3 EE 59
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.
Local Note:
57938 1 62
Frame value is 3.
Slide No. E 2 BSS 1.3 EE 59
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original records requires an appointment. Contact Archives staff for more details.
Collection Rights:
Permission to reproduce images from the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives must be obtained in advance. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Masks  Search this
Color slides
Collection Citation:
Eliot Elisofon Field Collection, EEPA 1973-001, Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution
EEPA.1973-001, Item EEPA EECL 3699
See more items in:
Eliot Elisofon Field collection
Eliot Elisofon Field collection / Liberia
Archival Repository:
Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art