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African Art

Mask (Tankagle)

late 19th–early 20th century

Wood, fiber, and nails

10 3/4 × 6 1/4 × 4 1/4 in. (27.3 × 15.9 × 10.8 cm)
Director’s Discretionary Fund
Tankagle are known to be gentle, good humored, and amusing. They appear at the visit of dignitaries, singing and reciting proverbs that ask for God’s blessing on the people. The masqueraders usually wear leg rattles and fiber or cloth costumes. They carry rattles made of calabash gourds and perform beautiful dances, short skits, and songs.
Made in Guinea Coast, Ivory Coast
Country Liberia
On view
19th–20th century

Jacques Wertheimer, Paris. Alain de Mondrison, Paris, to 1982; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


Roslyn Adele Walker, African Women / African Art, exh. cat. (New York, NY: African-American Institute, 1976), 46, no. 123, fig. 34.

Alan Shestack, ed., Yale University Art Gallery Selections (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1983), 104–105, ill.

Jessica Feinstein, “Art, Out of Africa,” Yale Daily News (January 30, 2004), B1, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.