Dan Stilt Dancer Doll

Dan stilt dancer doll, quirky, fascinating and endearing.
Tribe: Dan

Origin: Ivory Coast/Liberia

Approx Age: Late 20th Century

Materials: Wood/Raffia/Wool

Dimensions cm: 48 (tall)

Ref. Number: 0850

Dan stilt dancer doll. This fascinatingly interesting little doll comes from the Dan in Ivory Coast and Liberia. It depicts how the Dan stilt dancers would appear. Long stilt-like legs, sack/hessian material has been used to represent a shirt, red wool has been cleverly used as hair, with raffia being formed to represent a skirt. The facial expression is of simple nature but holds and endearing feel. In good condition, a really quirky and rare admirable piece.


These stilt dancer dolls/figures from the Ivory Coast, represent the actual dancers and would be made in their honour and kept in their home like a trophy for their expertise in dancing, as becoming a stilt dancer is a real challenge and a very difficult process and highly looked upon within the Dan community. One of the most spectacular dances of the Ivory Coast is the stilt dance, also known as a mask dance. Stilt dances are ritual dances that protect the village and are performed at ceremonies such as weddings, funerals, initiations, and celebrations. During private preparations, the dancer communicates with the spirit world of the ancestors and dons a costume with tall stilts and colourful clothes that cover the face and body completely. Once in costume, no one may refer to the dancer by any name other than the spirit name—the identity of the dancer is kept secret.

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